Joana Vasconcelos was born in 1971. She lives and works in Lisbon. She studied at Ar.Co, in Lisbon, and has exhibited regularly since the mid-1990s. After her participation in the 51st International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia in 2005, her work became known internationally. Recent highlights of her career include Trafaria Praia, project for the Pavilion of Portugal at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia (2013); a solo exhibition at the Château de Versailles, France (2012); participation in the group exhibition The World Belongs to You at the Palazzo Grassi/François Pinault Foundation, Venice (2011); and her first retrospective, held at the Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon (2010).
Vasconcelos has had solo exhibitions and projects at the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda, Lisbon (2013), CENTQUATRE, Paris (2012), Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense, Denmark (2011), Es Baluard, Palma de Mallorca, Spain (2009), Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (2008), Palazzo Nani Bernardo Lucheschi, Venice (2007), the New Art Gallery Walsall, England (2007), CaixaForum, Barcelona (2006), Passage du Désir/BETC EURO RSCG, Paris (2005), Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain (2003), Museu da Eletricidade, Lisbon (2001), and the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Oporto, Portugal (2000).
Vasconcelos has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including the FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France (2013), ARTIUM, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (2012), the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC (2011), Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon (2010), Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2009), FRAC Île-de-France/Le Plateau, Paris (2008), MUDAM, Luxembourg City (2007), Istanbul Modern (2006), MUSAC, Léon, Spain (2005), Stenersenmuseet, Oslo (2004), MARCO, Vigo, Spain (2003), Műcsarnok, Budapest, Hungary (2002), and the XXVI Bienal de Arte de Pontevedra, Spain (2000).
Vasconcelos’s work has been featured in many books. Recent highlights include Sculpture Now by Anna Moszynska (Thames & Hudson, 2013), The Naked Nude by Frances Borzello (Thames & Hudson, 2012), Arte Portuguesa: História Essencial by Paulo Pereira (Temas e Debates and Círculo de Leitores, 2011), Sete Dias no Mundo da Arte by Sarah Thornton (Arcádia, 2010), Tactile: High Touch Visuals, edited by Sven Ehmann, Matthias Huebner, and Robert Klanten (Gestalten, 2009), and Regard sur la sculpture contemporaine by Gérard Xuriguera (FVW, 2008).
Vasconcelos’s work has been featured in the newspapers Architectural Digest (Madrid, Milan), Art Actuel (Stains, France), Art+Auction (New York), Artforum (New York), Art Press (Paris), Beaux Arts (Issy-les-Moulineaux, France), Contemporary (London), Flash Art (Milan), Tema Celeste (Milan), and The Art Newspaper (London). Her work has also been featured in various newspapers and magazines, including El Mundo (Madrid), El País (Madrid), Financial Times (London), International Herald Tribune (Paris), L’Express (Paris), Le Figaro (Paris), Le Monde (Paris), Libération (Paris), The Daily Telegraph (London), The Guardian (London), The Independent (London), and The New York Times (New York).
Vasconcelos’s work is in various private and public collections, including AMOREPACIFIC Museum of Art, Seoul; ARTIUM, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Lisbon; Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Lisbon; Centro de Artes Visuales Fundación Helga de Alvear, Cáceres, Spain; Domaine Pommery, Reims, France; Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la création, Paris; FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France; Fundação EDP, Lisbon; Gerard L. Cafesjian Collection, Yerevan, Armenia; MACE – Coleção António Cachola, Elvas, Portugal; MUSAC, Léon, Spain; Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; and the Pinault Collection, Paris and Venice.
Represented by Casa Triângulo, São Paulo; Galería Horrach Moyà, Palma de Mallorca; Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels.
The nature of Joana Vasconcelos’ creative process is based on the appropriation, decontextualisation and subversion of pre-existent objects and everyday realities. Sculptures and installations, which are revealing of an acute sense of scale and mastery of colour, as well as the recourse to performances and video or photographic records, all combine in the materialization of concepts which challenge the pre-arranged routines of the quotidian. Starting out from ingenious operations of displacement, a reminiscence of the ready-made and the grammars of Nouveau Réalisme and pop, the artist offers us a complicit vision, but one which is at the same time critical of contemporary society and the several features which serve the enunciations of collective identity, especially those that concern the status of women, class distinction or national identity. From this process there derives a speech which is attentive to contemporary idiosyncrasies, where the dichotomies of hand-crafted/industrial, private/public, tradition/modernity and popular culture/erudite culture are imbued with affinities that are apt to renovate the usual fluxes of signification which are characteristic of contemporaneity.