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 that draw comparisons 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 along with 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.
Lavar Munroe (b. 1982, Nassau, Bahamas) earned his BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007 and his MFA from Washington University in 2013. In 2014, Munroe was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was included in Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of The Swamp, the New Orleans triennial curated by Trevor Schoonmaker, and the 12th Dakar Biennale, curated by Simon Njami, in Senegal. In 2015, Munroe's work was featured in All the World's Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor, as part of the 56th Venice Biennale. His work has been included in museums such as the Nasher Museum of Art in Durham; Perez Art Museum, Miami; National Gallery of the Bahamas, Nassau; MAXXI Museum of Art, Rome; Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; Virginia Museum of Modern Art, Virginia Beach; Ichihara Lakeside Museum Ichihara, Japan; and The Drawing Center, New York. Munroe was awarded residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, MacDowell Colony, the Headlands Center for the Arts, Joan Mitchell Center, Thread: Artist Residency & Cultural Center (a project of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation), a was recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant (2013). He was an inaugural Artists in Residence at the Norton Museum of Art (2020) and was named a Guggenheim Fellow (2023). His work was most recently included in exhibitions at The Centre Pompidou-Metz (France) , The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (South Africa) and a solo exhibition in Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago and Jack Bell Gallery in London, both in 2023. Lavar Munroe lives and works between Baltimore, Maryland and Nassau, Bahamas.