Juan Muñoz was born in Madrid in 1953. His tutor was the art critic Santiago Amón, who made an important impact on his education. In 1970, he moved to London where he studied at the Central School of Art and Design and at the Croydon School of Art. In 1981, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and studied at the Pratt Graphic Center, he was also the artist in residence at the PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York.
After his time in the United States, he set up home in Madrid. He curated two exhibitions, and then gave up curating in 1983 to focus on sculpture, although he continued to write texts and work with other disciplines. He held his first exhibition in 1984 and, over the following decades, he developed one of the most exceptional art careers in the last third of the 20th century.
Juan Muñoz explored new ways of distorting space, using daring perspectives and variations of scale, not only to commit to the spectator in terms of perspective and the senses but also, and particularly, to create psychological tension in individuals interacting with his work.
He created a new paradigm of artistic discourse, as the critic and historian Jan Avgikos stated, “from expression without being an expressionist” and “erasing the lines between the past and the present”. Along with his sculptures, he also drew, made installations, sound pieces, he worked with actors, musicians and filmmakers, and he wrote, making him a true contemporary humanist.