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    Sale 7740

    Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction

    1 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 234

    Juan Muñoz (1953-2001)


    Price Realised  


    Juan Muñoz (1953-2001)
    clay and iron
    24¾ x 26 3/8 x 11¾in. (63 x 67 x 30cm.)
    Executed in 1993

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    "I believe that a sculpture retains its interest when it remains strange to me...At times I think I always try to construct a sculpture that will betray my memories, that will remain foreign" (Muñoz quoted in N. Benezra, "Sculpture and Paradox", in Juan Muñoz, Chicago 2001, p. 31).

    Juan Muñoz was a great admirer of Edgar Degas' theatrical mis-en-scenes and his work frequently follows a similar feeling for narrative through carefully staged configurations of figures. Yet, the ballerinas represented in the present work share little in common with the French artist's traditional bronze sculptures. Indeed, Muñoz's figures are devoid of legs that would allow a ballerina swiftness and mobility and instead have lower bodies resembling a heavy ball. However, this immobility is deceptive because while the ballerinas appear frozen in stance with their bodies contorted and arms akimbo, they seem as though they could spring to life at any moment. Muñoz has succeeded in challenging the conventional representation of ballerinas, whilst establishing an element of mystery in his work. The viewer cannot help but wonder what is happening in this frozen scenario full of dramatic tension.

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    Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris.