Austin Chronicle: "Ben Muñoz: Over My Head" at Flatbed Center for Contemporary Printmaking


Muñoz's "Endless Endeavor" is a sequence of woodcuts that measure 100-by-52 inches each. "These massive pieces communicate both in scale and content the idea of life being larger and much more than ourselves," the gallery notes tell us, and Muñoz communicates that idea via starkly monochrome arrangements of regional and personal iconography, incorporating a diversity of Texan and Mexican tropes into towering archiform tableaux that turn Flatbed's gallery walls into a multipartite panorama that rewards the eyes and the mind. A little smaller (36-by-62 inches) but hardly less striking are the woodcut prints of Muñoz's "Familia" series that explores cultural identity as a family assimilates into the United States.

Now, the "Endless Endeavor" series was created for the Art Center of Corpus Christi, so maybe you're a relentless arts maven and you previously encountered them there? But even then, you haven't witnessed these "Familia" prints, with the two recent Flatbed-produced additions Heed and Epilogue rendered in chiaroscuro – so they're the first colored prints in the artist's expanding oeuvre.

Suggestion: You might want to get in on the ground floor, so to speak. You might want to grab some early-career bragging rights and pay a visit to Muñoz's "Over My Head" before the artist's oeuvre, as we've said, expands any further. Because his is definitely a trajectory of creation to watch.



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