Anton Munar at Brunette Coleman / London


23 February – 30 March 2024

Brunette Coleman
42 Theobalds Road
For Anton Munar making a painting is existential. The paintings that leave
his studio depend on his disposition while painting. Desire is what drives
his compulsion to paint, as he draws from life to guide his scenes into what
appear like conjured dreams. In And the birds will continue at Brunette
Coleman the presence of trees and solitary figures appear across most of the
paintings. Anton’s fascination for painting trees stems from their anatomical
similarities to the human body, and speaks to an understanding of their
relationship to time and longevity.
Anton strives for an open reading of his paintings, the backdrops defined
by glimpses of mountains and cathedrals in Mallorca, or a 17th century
building in Copenhagen near his studio. Conceived in various amalgamations
of distemper, ink, pastels and oils, their dry appearance alludes to the slow
growth of lichen on bark. Spanning four years of enquiry, a history of layers
peer from behind the foregrounds, his paintings never shy from revealing
their past. To Anton, it’s imperative for this ancient ecology to inform and
illuminate the figures on top.
His grandfather Antonio is acutely conscious of the trees, too: he spent
a lifetime gathering and sculpting branches into walking sticks. Here,
these canes have become companions to Anton’s paintings. Their amorphous
appearance suggests bones or limbs, alluding to the ageing of both man
and tree.
Anton notices that the bark engravings appear like hieroglyphs
which, displayed on triangular supports, appear like coded symbols. Hidden
metaphors and clues keep him entranced while working. Tranquility
seamlessly descends into commotion across all of Anton’s painted worlds,
coalescing as one under the thick weight of his imagination. He notes that,
when paintings ‘look too absolute, I lose interest’ – each drama is part of
an incomplete narrative, suspended at the point of a gripping cliffhanger.

Anton Munar
(b.1997, Copenhagen, Denmark). Selected exhibitions include: The Garden Dies with the
Gardener, Peres Projects, Berlin (2023), I give them my body so they can walk on it, PPP, Online (2023), The Disappearing City, CASTLE, Los Angeles (2023), Serious Scribbles, Marie Kierkegaard,Copenhagen (2022), Some Stories, diez, Amsterdam, (2022), Alte Freunde, neue Freunde, Class Reiss, London (2021), Listening to Bonfires, Indebt Studio, Amsterdam (2021).