Antonio Muniz: “Metamorphosis” at Couturier Gallery

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By Eve Wood
Nov 2012

“Chance, spontaneity and ambiguity are all phenomena that can be difficult to manifest in visual terms, creating the “experience” of color, movement and line rather than simply repeating stale and predictable forms. Antonio Muniz’s first solo exhibition at Couturier Gallery utilizes these qualities to mesmerizing effect. Working in the ancient technique called “fumage,” which involves creating images with smoke, and inspired by the works of Wolfgang Paalen, Muniz was initially drawn to the technique for its mysterious, sensual quality, and its constant changeability, allowing for moments of chance, multi-dimensionality and surprise within the controlled space of the picture plane. Works like In the Mist of the Playground (2012) are suffused with playful whimsy, yet betray elements of deeper elegance and mystical awakening as the paint undulates and recedes simultaneously in a strange perceptual dance. Muniz’ working methodology involves a layering process, first using a Tiki light which emits the smoke along the canvas, then applying areas of oil paint and lastly going back in with the smoke to drawn the imagery together. This lengthy process exemplifies not only Muniz’ commitment to form, but to the ineffable moment of chance that infuses each of these luminous paintings.”

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