Lavar Munroe is a Bahamian interdisciplinary artist working primarily in mixed media painting, cardboard sculpture, and drawings. His work examines themes present in folklore, fables and historic films – drawing comparison between his upbringing in the Bahamas and travels to various countries in Africa. Addressing multiple narratives that span personal, historical and mythological references, Munroe’s work presents conflicts between a desire to escape and the longing for home while challenging us to journey beyond the familiar. Described as a hybrid medium between painting and relief sculpture, Munroe’s work often incorporates sentimental objects collected and gifted from his family and objects found during his travels. His work focuses on themes such as journey, utopia, magic, love and the celebration of escape through fantastical and dreamlike imagery.
Munroe (b.1982, Nassau, Bahamas) earned his BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design (2007) and MFA Studio Art at Washington University, St. Louis (2013). He also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2013) and was awarded a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2016), Benny Andrews Fellow from the MacDowell Colony (2016), and The Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity-University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC (2014).Recent solo exhibitions include Jack Bell Gallery, London, England (2022, 2021, 2014); Walters Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD (2021); NOMAD, Brussels, Belgium (2017); Meadows Museum of Art, Shreveport, LA (2018); SCAD Museum of Art and Gutstein Gallery, Savannah, GA (2016); and The Central Bank, Nassau, Bahamas (2010). Notable group shows include The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (2022); Centre Pompidou Metz, FR (2022); Ichihara Lakeside Museum (2020); Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, VA (2020); Perez Art Museum Miami, FL (2019); Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK (2017); and Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC (2015). He has also been featured in the Art Basel Miami Beach (2022); Kampala Biennale (2020); Off Biennale Cairo (2018); 12th Dakar Biennale, Senegal, West Africa (2016); and 56th Venice Art Biennale (2015).
His work is in the collections of The Baltimore Museum of Art, Fondation de France; Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, Genève, Switzerland; The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York, NY; The Central Bank of the Bahamas, Nassau, BA; The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, Nassau, BA; and the MAXXI Museum, Rome, IT. He is the recipient of honors and awards including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, Robert De Niro Award (2023), the Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalist (2021), Distinguished Alums Award from Sam Fox School of Art and Design from Washington University of St. Louis (2018), Postdoctoral Award for Research Excellence from the University of North Carolina (2015), Sam Fox Dean’s Initiative Fund (2013), Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant (2013), Joan Mitchell Foundation Scholarship (2012), The Kraus Family Foundation Award (2011), and The National Endowment for the Arts Grant (2011). Munroe lives and works between Baltimore, MD, and the Bahamas.