Table of Contents           About           Bookshop

Juan Muñoz                             Chopping Block, 2001

Solid wood
11.5 x 17.75 x 5 in. (29.2 x 45 x 12.7 cm)
Edition of 25

Purchase here or contact Brad Lenz at
for more information.


Inspired by his disquieting tableaus, Muñoz’s fully functional cutting board presents the owner with a proposition at once playful and potentially violent. The Renaissance Society presented the artist’s first one-person institutional exhibition in the US in 1990. As the exhibition’s curator Joe Scalian articulated:

Switchblade knives [...] figure in Muñoz’s visual vocabulary, occasionally appearing in the hand of a ballerina, beneath the ledge of a stair, or on the underside of a seemingly safe handrail. These veiled and latent threats serve to complicate and re-define our interaction with Muñoz’s characters and objects, and often exaggerate the passive/aggressive status of art objects and their viewers.

Although there are elements of narrative and symbolism in Muñoz’s work, the artist primarily worked in sculpture and installation to create a poetry of wordlessness, or near comprehension of an emotional state, to explore psychological experiences of alienation and unsettling displacement.

Juan Muñoz (b. 1953; Madrid, Spain) was a major art historical figure, best known for his work addressing the human condition and indicating a human presence in his work in relationship to architecture, sculptural objects, and seemingly impossible spatial situations.


Juan Muñoz, Figuras Sentadas, installation views, 1990; Raincoat Drawing, 1989.