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Oscar Murillo, "A Storm Is Blowing From Paradise"

A Storm Is Blowing From Paradise: Oscar Murillo in Venice

Pearl Fontaine

8 November 2022

Venice’s historic venue Scuola Grande della Misericordia, with its behemoth columns and aged stone slab flooring, is currently hosting installations of large gestural abstractions, shelves piled with frayed canvases, and other assemblages that make up Oscar Murillo’s exhibition “A Storm Is Blowing From Paradise.” On view through November 27, the exhibition features work from the artist’s ongoing collaborative project, Frequencies, along with some of his new paintings, wearable sculptures, and other works.

Piercing the air of the cavernous hall is a soundscape by Murillo that activates the senses with layered clips of global flights, traffic, playgrounds, and vegetable gardens. Its compilation of noises accompanies the large-scale, sewn-together canvases sitting upright in the space (making up Disrupted Frequencies). There, a massive installation of canvas measuring nearly 30-feet-wide heavily recalls Monet’s waterlilies—a concept that was inspired by the iconic artist’s cataracts, which fell in line with Murillo’s fascination with the idea of social cataracts.

Oscar Murillo

Photo of Oscar Murillo by Tim Bowditch, courtesy of the artist.

In the center of the venue is an archival compilation of Frequencies, where its raw canvases have been piled, layer upon layer, sitting on rows of industrial shelves. First launched in 2013, Frequencies has called upon the help of more than 100,000 schoolchildren around the world, inviting students ages 10-16 to add markings of their choice to canvas-covered desks. The result is a representation of the collective conscience of today’s youth through partnerships with hundreds of schools in more than 30 different countries.

Within the exhibition is an enclosed space dedicated to Murillo’s wearable sculptures, titled Arepas y Tamales, which allows visitors to virtually try on digitized versions of garments. Also on view is a series of Flight Drawings made during international air travel, and a special arena-style seating space for which SAVVY Contemporary has curated a program of public music, performances, readings, and events to activate the exhibition.

Scuola della Misericordia di Venezia

Courtesy of the Scuola della Misericordia di Venezia.

Oscar Murillo,

Oscar Murillo, installation view of “A Storm Is Blowing From Paradise” at Scuola Grande della Misericordia, Venice; photos by Tim Bowditch, Reinis Lismanis, and Dominique Russell, © Oscar Murillo, courtesy the artist.

Oscar Murillo,

Oscar Murillo, installation view of “A Storm Is Blowing From Paradise” at Scuola Grande della Misericordia, Venice; photos by Tim Bowditch, Reinis Lismanis, and Dominique Russell, © Oscar Murillo, courtesy the artist.

Oscar Murillo,

Oscar Murillo, “Arepas y Tamales,” 2022, Digital avatars for interactive video installation “collective conscience”(2022); courtesy of the artist.

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THE SPRING ARTIST ISSUE
2023

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