Juan Muñoz

Untitled (Monument)

Jubilee Gardens, London
20 February 1992 - 19 April 1992

The Cenotaph standing on the Whitehall in central London was designed by Lutyens to honour the fallen of the First World War. The commemorative sculpture was considered by Spanish artist Juan Muñoz to be one of the most effective memorials of the 20th century. For Muñoz, as for many others the memorial's quiet power lies in its dignified and unheroic quality.

Of the Cenotaph, Muñoz said "It is one of the most outstanding pieces of modern geometry I can think of. It hasn't been damaged by the passage of time". In response to an invitation to create a public sculpture on the South Bank of the River Thames in association with the exhibition Doubletake: Contemporary Art and Collective Memory at the Hayward Gallery in early 1992, Muñoz designed his own anonymous memorial, a 4.5 metre high sculpture of artificial stone, to which three cast bronze flags were attached, echoing the flags on the cenotaph.

Untitled (Monument) was, Muñoz said, a "sculpture designed as a monument", a memorial to the idea of memorialising. Passers-by could project on to this sculptural apparition their own interpretations of what event the monument may have been inviting them to remember.

Image: Untitled (Monument),1992, photograph: Lisa Harty.

About Juan Muñoz

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Juan Muñoz

Juan Muñoz was an artist from Madrid, raised under the Franco regime. He worked on two projects with Artangel, Untitled (Monument) in 1992 and A Man in a Room, Gambling with Gavin Bryars in 1997.

Although also working in performance and audio, he is most known for his figurative works and large scale installations with which he explored size and space; notably Double Bind, the second Unilever commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Showing early on in his career at the ICA and the Lisson Gallery, London, Muñoz went on to exhibit internationally.

Since his death, there have been major retrospective exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Tate Modern and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.


Image: (above) Juan Muñoz performing Man in a Room Gambling. Photograph: Stephen White. (Left) Monument, photograph: Lisa Harty.


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Who made this possible?


Untitled (Monument) was commissioned by Artangel in association with the Southbank Centre as part of the exhibition Doubletake: Collective Memory and Current Art at the Hayward Gallery,  20 February - 19 April 1992.

This project was supported by Arts Council EnglandArtangel International CircleSpecial Angels and The Company of Angels.