Joana Vasconcelos was born in 1971. She lives and works in Lisbon. She has exhibited regularly since the mid-1990s. Her work became known internationally after her participation in the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005, with the work A Noiva [The Bride] (2001-05). She was the first woman and the youngest artist to exhibit at the Palace of Versailles, in 2012.
The nature of Joana Vasconcelos’s 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.
Her work is represented in various private and public collections, including Amorepacific Museum of Art, Seoul; ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark; Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Lisbon; Centro de Artes Visuales Fundación Helga de Alvear, Cáceres, Spain; City of Lisbon; City of Paris; Domaine Pommery, Reims, France; Fondation Louis Vuitton, 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; the Pinault Collection, Paris and Venice; and The Rothschild Collection, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, UK.