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Philip Muñoz | Of Land, Sea and Sky




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Friday, 15 March 2024 to Saturday, 20 April 2024

Pontone Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of new landscape paintings by Philip Muñoz. His subject is the English west country, particularly Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. He concentrates on coastal scenes where the three elements of land, sea and sky come together. These skilful studies of topography and climate are each small essays evoking a specific time and place.

Muñoz works in oil on panel. His technique is cooly analytical and follows the descriptive tradition of representational painting. In certain passages, where a relaxed focus is appropriate, he allows the mark of the brush and its occasional gestural flourish to assert itself. We see this in the treatment of scudding clouds, wind-driven foliage and choppy seas. This makes for a contrast with more tightly rendered areas, such as those where people and structures require closer definition. Azure blues, sandy ochres and muted grass-greens are the basis of the painter’s palette, at times offset by deeper ultramarines, veridians and charcoal greys. The varying forms and textures of trees, rocks, water and field are described with a fluent hand.

The artist maps and defines the specific characteristics of each picturesque location. This group of pictures can be read sequentially and appears to describe a peripatetic journey into the West. Each composition is a named place and carries echoes of the tours undertaken by nineteenth century artists such as Cotman and Turner as they assembled their compendiums of British landscape. The essential difference between then and now is that Muñoz’s travels reveals a landscape devoted as much to leisure and tourism as to agriculture and industry.

These images are emphatically calm and contemplative. The painter revels in the joy of his quiet appraisal and takes pleasure in a virtuoso application of oil paint. He invites us to take the tour.

Artist ( Description ): 

The works of self-taught artist Philip Muñoz are concerned with the notion of glamour and its role in female social identity. He is keenly interested in the idea of beauty through transformation and is particularly engaged by the highly personalised looks adorned by so many women today. Often seductive and always demanding of attention, one is drawn in, yet inevitably kept emotionally and physically at a distance. In particular, the temporary and fragile nature of the make-up often used to conjure up such effects, forces one to play the role of voyeur, never fully engaging with the illusion.

Having graduated with a degree in biochemistry at the University of Bristol, Muñoz turned his attentions to art and has been a resident of Jamaica Street Studios in Bristol since 2007. Drawn to the vibrant and youthful, care-free characters that are seen every day outside the doors of his studio, Muñoz has increasingly focused on creating portraits and figures immersed in the urban context, whether a close-up examination of the glamorous and modified, adorned with tattoos and piercings, or a figure caught in a fleeting moment of city life. His is an intimate portrayal of the eclectic, where fashion and identity are of foremost importance.

+44 20 7730  8777
Venue ( Address ): 

74 Newman Street, London W1T 3DB

Pontone Gallery , London

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