Lucio Muñoz (Madrid, 1929-1998) is one of the key exponents of Spanish Informalism in the second half of the 20th century. After studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid he continues his education in Paris, where he comes into contact with Informalist painters such as Jean Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier, Wols (Wolfgang Schulze) and Antoni Tàpies. Subsequently, he focuses Abstraction, an approach he is to maintain throughout his career.
In 1958 he begins working with wood, one of the key characteristics of his paintings and from this moment he becomes one of the Spanish artists to participate in the most important contemporary art exhibitions around the world. In 1983 he is awarded the National Prize for Plastic Arts in Spain, and the Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts in 1993. In 1988 the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía holds a large exposición antológica (Anthological Exhibition) on his work, which is followed by the exhibition in the Museo entitled Lucio Muñoz. Obra sobre papel (Lucio Muñoz. Work on Paper), in 2001.
Muñoz' painting is shrouded in mystery and transcendence, despite the artist alluding on numerous occasions to his agnosticism, and his work resonates a certain spirituality. Equally, in some cases his oeuvre - without losing the coherence distinguishing his whole career - more explicitly approximates religion, particularly the iconography of Christianity. For instance the large-scale mural measuring six hundred and twenty square metres for the apse of the Sanctuary of Aránzazu in the Basque Country, or the five-metre triptych Gólgota (1964), belonging to the Collection of the Museo de Bellas Artes in Bilbao, the same year in which his is awarded the Gold Medal at the Salzburg Biennial of Sacred Art.
The exhibition presented by the Museo in the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos comprises thirteen mixed media boards, produced by Muñoz between 1994 and 1996. The works are created using untreated wood - works that hold profound discourse with the stone structures of the place they are exhibited in. The pieces appear like altars and are connected to some of the iconographic references of the time, compiled and listed by Muñoz in his notebook. These include: monoliths, obelisks, funeral steles, altars of sacrifice, rites, Mediterranean cultures and Mesopotamia. The works form part of the final stage of the journey he embarks upon in the middle of the Fifties in which he renounces the superfluous in search of simplicity, luminosity and starkness.