Miguel Amado (ed.), Netless, exh. cat., Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon (1 March–18 May 2010), Lisbon, Museu Coleção Berardo, 2010→
Joana Vasconcelos : de fil(s) en aiguille(s), cat. expo., Patinoire royale, Bruxelles, (23 November 2016–25 March 2017), Bruxelles, Éditions de la Patinoire royale, 2016→
Juncosa Enrique & Sartwell Crispin, Joana Vasconcelos: Material World, London, Thames & Hudson, 2015
Joana Vasconcelos–Versailles, Château de Versailles, Versailles, 19 June–30 September 2012→
Textures of Life, ARoS Aahrus Kunstmuseum, Aahrus, Denmark, 14 October 2016–19 February 2017→
Joana Vasconcelos, I’m Your Mirror, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, 29 June–11 November 2018
Portuguese sculptor and multimedia artist.
Following her training at the Ar.co art school in Lisbon between 1989 and 1996, Joana Vasconcelos has been awarded, among others, the EDP Novos artistas prize in 2000, and the Fondation Berardo’s The Winner Takes It All prize in Lisbon in 2006. Her work, showcased during important solo and group exhibitions both in Portugal and abroad, is striking for its inventiveness, chromatic exuberance and playful appearance. Many sculptures and installations are created by accumulating mundane objects: the enormous chandelier in A Noiva (The Bride, 2001-2005) presented at the Venice Biennale in 2005, is made of thousands of sanitary pads, which, subverted from their usual function, provide an ironic view of the mechanisms of consumer society, while the title suggests a possible reference to the work of Marcel Duchamp.
The artist examines the issue of feminine identity in numerous pieces, namely through the appropriation of domestic elements, such as crochet work or saucepans and lids, with which a very large high-heel shoe was made, for example (Cinderela, 2007). This appropriation and subversion strategy also touches on pop culture, and that of Portugal in particular: thus, the sumptuous Coração independente sculptures (Independent Heart, 2004-2008) evoke hints of both fado and traditional Portuguese jewellery, while actually being made with colourful plastic lids, a modern and trivial material; in Euro-Visão (Euro-Vision, 2005), a television set, transmitting the famous pop song contest is covered with crochet place mats, which are a common household occurrence. The artist has intervened on several occasions in public places, creating several large-scale works: for Varína (2008), she collaborated with several women to complete a monumental crochet work to be hung underneath the Dom Luís I bridge, in Porto. Her work was featured in an important monographic exhibition in 2010 at the Berardo Collection Museum. In 2012, she was invited to show her work in the Palace of Versailles, but her memorable “bride” was removed from the exhibition.
Joana Vasconcelos, A Noiva [A Bride], 2001-2005, OB tampons, stainless steel, cotton thread, steel cables, 600 x Ø 300 cm, Courtesy Unidade Infinita Projectos Ajuda National Palace, Lisbon © Photo : Luís Vasconcelos, © ADAGP, Paris
Joana Vasconcelos, Coração Independente Vermelho [Red Independent Heart], 2005, translucent plastic cutlery, painted iron, metal chain, motor, sound installation: Songs performed: Estranha Forma de Vida (Amália Rodrigues), Maldição (Joaquim Campos da Silva/Armando Vieira Pinto), Gaivota (Alain Oulman/Alexandre O’Neill). Authorized by IPLAY – Som e Imagem/(P) Valentim de Carvalho, 371 x 220 x 75 cm; DMF, Lisbon ©Unidade, Infinita Projectos © ADAGP, Paris
Joana Vasconcelos, A Joia do Tejo [The Jewel of the Tagus], 2008, site-specific installation, Torre de Belém, Lisbon, Nautical buoys and fenders, nautical cables, ballasted tubular structure, 1200 x 1300 x 1300 cm, DMF, Lisbon © Unidade, Infinita Projectos © ADAGP, Paris
Joana Vasconcelos, Varina [Fishwife], 2008, Handmade cotton crochet, steel cables, 1500 x 3500 cm, DMF, Lisbon © Unidade, Infinita Projectos © ADAGP, Paris
Joana Vasconcelos, Contaminação [Contamination], 2008-2010, handmade woollen knitting and crochet, felt appliqués, industrial knitted fabric, fabrics, ornaments, polystyrene, polyester, steel cables, variable dimensions, © Palazzo Grassi, Orsegnio Chemollo © ADAGP, Paris
Joana Vasconcelos, Marilyn (AP), 2011, stainless steel pans and lids, concrete, (2x) 297 x 155 x 410 cm, DMF, Lisbon, © Unidade, Infinita Projectos © ADAGP, Paris
Joana Vasconcelos, Pavillon de Vin, 2011, wrought iron, vine plants, 550 x Ø 330 cm, Courtesy Societé EFFI, Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris), Unidade Infinita Projectos|Château de Versailles, © Photo : Luís Vasconcelos, © ADAGP, Paris
Joana Vasconcelos, Blue Champagne, 2012, Pommery POP Champagne bottles, metallized and thermo-lacquered iron, ultra bright LEDs, electric system, (2 x) 940 x 496 cm, Courtesy Haunch of Venison/Christie’s (London), Unidade Infinita Projectos|Château de Versailles © Photo : Luís Vasconcelos, © ADAGP, Paris
Joana Vasconcelos, Lilicoptère, 2012, Bell 47 helicopter, ostrich feathers, Swarovski crystals, gold leaf, industrial paint, dyed leather upholstery embossed with fine gold, Arraiolos rugs, walnut wood, woodgrain painting, passementerie, 300 x 274 x 1265 cm, Courtesy Haunch of Venison/Christie’s (Londres), Unidade Infinita Projectos|Château de Versailles © Photo : Luís Vasconcelos © ADAGP, Paris