Chronology

1953

Born 17 June in Madrid, the second of seven children, to Vicente and Hermenia Muñoz.

1966-1970

Sent to boarding school briefly after being expelled from grade school, 1966-67. Attends Colegio Alameda de Osuna in Madrid, where he is taught by Santiago Amón, editor of Nueva Forma and art historian and art critic for El Pais. Amón also tutors Muñoz and his brother Vicente, privately at their home.

1970-1975

Briefly studies architecture at the University of Madrid. Moves to London with his brother Vicente in October 1970. Travels widely in Europe and lives in Stockholm for fourteen months. Briefly considers pursuing filmmaking; in Madrid, makes a short, 16 mm film documenting public sculpture.

1976-1977

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Receives a British Council scholarship and attends Central School of Art and Design, London (now known as Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design); awarded a Special Advanced Studies in Printmaking (lithography) certificate. Experiments with sculptures that involve sound, tape recorders, moving audiotape, body imprints, and weight and balance.

1978-1980

Receives another British Council scholarship and attends Croydon School of Art, London (now known as Croydon College), where he completes coursework in advanced Printmaking. Meets Spanish art student Cristina Iglesias, whom he later marries.

1981

Attends Pratt Graphic Center, New York. Receives a Fulbright Fellowship through the North American Spanish Committee. Serves as artist-in-residence at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York. Conducts interview with Richard Serra.

1982

Lives in Torrelodones, northwest of Madrid. Curates, with Carmen Giménez, the exhibition Correspondencias: 5 Arquitectos, 5 Escultores; for the exhibition´s catalogue publishes his first essay `Notes on Three´.

1983

Curates a second exhibition, La Imagen del Animal: Arte prehistórica, arte contemporáneo. Abandons curatorial work to concentrate on sculpture. Makes his first welded-metal sculptures.

1984

Makes his first balcony and staircase sculptures. First solo exhibition, Juan Muñoz: Últimos trabajos, is held at Galería Fernando Vijande, Madrid.

1986

Exhibits sculpture El norte de la tormenta in the Aperto 86 section of the Venice Biennale, along with a 45 rpm recording of the same title he created with his brother-in-law, composer Alberto Iglesias. Makes The Wasteland, his first work to feature a floor element with a human figure.

1987

First solo solo museum exhibition, Juan Muñoz: Sculptures de 1985 à 1987, is held at CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux.

1988

Makes Dwarf with Three Columns, his first sculpture to include a dwarf. Makes his first `raincoat drawing´.

1989

Makes his first bronze sculptures, a series of ballerinas.
Collaborates with the Belgian architect Paul Robbrecht on A Room for a Doctor of Pain, an installation at Galería Marga Paz, Madrid, that features an actual-sized reconstruction of the waiting and surgical rooms of a Belgian doctor. Daughter, Lucia, is born.

1990

First solo museum exhibition in the United States is held at The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago; in lieu of an exhibition catalogue, Segment, the artist’s longest essay to date, is published.

1991

Makes first `Conversation Piece´ sculpture. Creates illustrations for an edition of Joseph Conrad´s An Outpost of Progress, the studies for which are exhibited in 1992 at Frith Street Gallery, London. Moves to Rome and rents a studio in Trastevere.

1992

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Lives in Rome. Receives commission for two works from James Lingwood of Artangel, London : Untitled Monument (London), a temporary outdoor monument on the South Bank of the River Thames, and A Man in a Room Gambling, a series of ten five-minute sound works made in collaboration with composer Gavin Bryars and conceived for the late-night listener. A Man in a Room Gambling, is broadcast on public radio stations in Great Britain, Canada, Germany, Austria, and Scandinavia. Muñoz receives commission from Gloria Moure for the Olimpíada Cultural Barcelona ´92, for which he creates A Room Where It Always Rains, a permanently sited outdoor sculpture at the Plaça del Mar, Barcelona. Makes sound tape Third Ear (with critic Adrian Searle) for radio broadcast by the BBC. Invited by the BBC to participate in Building Sites Europe, a television series devoted to contemporary architecture in Europe, selects José Rafael Moneo’s Museo Nacional de Arte Romano in Merida to discuss on the show. Makes the sound tape Building for Music with Alberto Iglesias.

1993

Completes Two Figures for Middleheim for the Openluchtmuseum voor beeldhouwkunst Middelheim, Antwerp. Makes Stuttering Piece, his first figurative sculpture to include sound. The sound tape Building for Music is broadcast on the radio during the 1993 exhibition Sonsbeek 93, in Arnhem, The Netherlands.

1994

Solo exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, features Conversation Piece (Dublin), the artist’s largest outdoor sculpture (with twenty-two figures), and the sound piece Doors of My House; in conjunction with the exhibition, the museum later publishes Silence please! Stories After the Works of Juan Muñoz (1996), with short stories by John Berger, William Forsythe, Dave Hickey, Patrick McCabe, Alexandre Melo, Vik Muniz, Quico Rivas, Luc Sante, Adrian Searle, Lynne Tillman, and Marina Warner.

1995

Serves as artist-in-residency at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston. Son Diego is born.

1996

Two major solo exhibitions open: Juan Muñoz: Monologues and Dialogues organized by James Lingwood, at Palacio Velázquez, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (travels in 1997 to Museum für Gegenswartskunst, Zurich); and A Place Called Abroad at Dia Center for the Arts, New York (travels in 1998 to SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico as Streetwise). Directs Will it be a Likeness?, written by Muñoz and John Berger and acted by John Berger and others at Theater am Turm, Frankfurt; the performance is broadcast by Hessicher Rundfunk and other German radio stations (winning Hörspiel des Jahres 1996 for best radio program in Germany) and by the BBC (transcript published with illustrations by Muñoz in John Berger, ¿Será un retrato?, Arte y parte no.32, 2001, 36-49).

1997-1999

Gavin Bryars Ensemble performs A Man in a Room, Gambling in public concerts at BBC Studio One, London, September 1997. In the same year, these sound works are released on compact disc. Muñoz collaborates with John Berger on A Correspondence About Space, a lecture and performance at the Geheimnisse der Raumproduktion, Hamburg, May 1998. Will it be a Likeness? is performed at Thik Theatre im Kornhaus, Baden, Switzerland, November 1999.

2000

Awarded the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas by the Spanish government. Receives commission in The Unilever Series for work in the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London.

2001

In June Double Bind, Muñoz´s commission for The Unilever Series at Tate Modern, London is unveiled. Audio piece A registered Patent, with music by Alberto Iglesias and the voice of John Malkovich, presented at Documenta.

Dies on 28 August in Ibiza.