Isabel Muñoz, Arles, Acte Sude, 2004→
Isabel Muñoz, Cuenca en la mirada, Barcelona, Lunwerg ed., 2004→
Caujolle Christian, Isabel Muñoz, la trampa del baile, Madrid, La Fábrica, 2007
Infancia, Museo del Parque Bicentenario, Mexico, 15 June – 31 July 2015→
Discurso para la Academia. Retratos de Isabel Muñoz, Museo de la Evolución Humana, Burgos, 16 November 2018 – March 2019→
Mujeres del Congo. El Camino a la Esperanza, Centro Cultural Okendo, San Sebastián, 29 March – 4 May 2019
In the early 1970s Isabel Muñoz studied photography at the Photocentro in Madrid, and later in the Department of Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, New York. She returned to the United States several times to familiarise herself with different shooting and dark-room techniques. Her first solo exhibition took place in Madrid in 1986, marking the beginning of a long series. Since the mid-1970s she has developed a body of work that presents itself as a true hymn to the human body and its manifold expressive possibilities. Through photography, she seeks to capture the body’s movement, notably through dance, which constitutes a privileged means of expression. This guiding thread underpins all of her series; the theme of each is the result of a journey, an encounter with a new population. The photographer explores all kinds of dance: classical, contemporary, popular and folk – the universe of flamenco (Flamenco, 1989), tango (Tango, 1989), Asian dance (Danse orientale, 1992), Cuban dance (Danza cubana, 1995) and classical ballet (Ballet nacional de Cuba, 2001).
Her questioning of the body in movement extends to other types of corporeal languages, such as wrestling (Lucha turca), martial arts (Capoeira, 2000), contortion (Contortionistas, 1998) and bullfighting (Toros, 1992). Certain series, such as Man and Suma Etiopia (2002-2006), are dedicated to the body as an expressive medium, for example scarified or modified bodies. The artist’s attempt to take account of all bodily emotions, and to translate their language, is enhanced by the use of the platinotype, an old photographic process, characteristic of her work, which allows her to sublimate the texture and nuances of the bodies represented. Following a slow process, she works with material and makes her own prints – typically large-format black-and-white images, though colour makes occasional appearances, notably in her more recent series (Maras; Amor y extasis [Love and ecstasy]). Thus, while reviving a certain tradition of photography, I. Muñoz stands out for her personal and poetic vision of the body, which makes her one of the great figures of Spanish photography.
Isabel Muñoz, Danza Khmer [Khmer Dance], undated, silver sluminium print on barite paper, 105 x 80 cm, © Isabel Muñoz