In his burgeoning career, Murillo has received deserved acclaim for his heroic large-scale paintings incorporating gestural abstraction, the often fragmented written word, and even the accumulated dust and dirt of the artist’s studio. Through paintings, performance and video works, Murillo explores different notions of community and belonging, a practice informed by the artist’s roots in Colombia, where he was born in 1986, and London, where he currently lives and works.
The present lot is a stunning example of the artist’s Stack Paintings, in which two or more stretched canvases are installed leaning against a wall–and each other–so that parts of the work are obscured or hidden behind the foremost painting. The resulting picture plane is of varying depth and irregular dimensions, allowing the viewer access to loosely mediated sections of the paintings’ surfaces. Frenetic brushwork and seemingly unintentional accretions of dirt belie a meditative and precise process of stitching together canvases to form the final composition. Fried (Stack Painting) consists of two such canvases composed of swashbuckling blue and green oil stick, ghostly orange fields of translucent mist and a stark pink spray paint spine dividing the foremost canvas, further complicating the stacked visual arena. A variously thin or thick all-over film of dirt gives the paintings organic connotations of growth, evolution and inevitable decay. At once impeccably balanced and wildly unstable, the paintings gain friction and momentum as the eye traverses their veritable obstacle course of visual information. The result is a dynamic display of the artist’s command of the medium of painting, exhibiting a uniquely sculptural approach to space while maintaining a painterly vitality reminiscent of the first wave of Abstract Expressionism. As such, Fried (Stack Painting) is part of a growing body of work that substantiates Murillo’s current standing as one of the most celebrated young painters of his generation.