M+B is pleased to present Rainbow Bridge, an exhibition of new works by JP Munro. This is the artist's first solo show with the gallery. The exhibition opens May 21, 2022 and will run through June 30, 2022, with an opening reception on Saturday, May 21 from 6 to 8 pm.
JP Munro paints enigmatic scenes of epic battles, ancient rituals, and decadent celebrations. His distinct approach engages with a vast array of sources, from art history to biblical and mythological stories that often suggest allegorical interpretations and moral lessons. Munro redeploys these subjects in complex, idiosyncratic visions, populating his canvases with familiar yet ambiguous visual symbols and figures that refuse narrative clarity or easy readings.
In Rainbow Bridge (a reference to a sacred bridge in Norse mythology that connects mankind’s world with the realm of the gods), Munro presents eleven new paintings, including a pair of plein-air landscape paintings set in the foothills and mountains surrounding Los Angeles. Each is densely painted, and with his figurative work, richly layered with symbolic representation. Munro works in an improvisational, stream of consciousness manner, borrowing from memory elements from classical paintings, while also adding contemporary references. The canvases are built up in elaborate detail and nearly encrusted with paint. In one of the show’s largest works, Underworld, Munro reveals an ambitious version of a dark hellscape, filled with writhing nude figures, television monitors, and an enthroned Rat King. The work is an amalgam of familiar iconography, recontextualized in a balance of art historical rigor and kitsch fascination. The combination of these disparate elements results in a psychologically-heightened, unsettling composition that forms a unique pastiche.
JP Munro (b. 1975, Inglewood, CA) received his BFA from the University of California Los Angeles and MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He has held solo exhibitions at Brennan and Griffin, New York; China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles; and Sadie Coles HQ, London. Notable group exhibitions include Human Nature, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; 2006 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY, and Defamation of Character, MoMA PS1, Queens, NY. Public collections include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of Art, New York; and the Henry Art Museum, Seattle. Rainbow Bridge is the artist’s first solo exhibition with M+B. Munro lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
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