Mimmo Scognamiglio Artecontemporanea is pleased to present Stupid Furniture, the first solo show in an Italian art gallery by artist Joana Vasconcelos. The visual artist gathered eleven different artworks, some of which have been specially developed and named for this exhibition in Milan. The titles of the works have drawn their inspiration from the imaginary connected to the Italian culture and delicacies, from Lollobrigida to Torta della Nonna, evoking an idea of exuberance and comfort at the same time.
It all started with Joana's great grandmother's cabinet, which she painted imbued in a creative spree for a fresher look. Joana inherited this wood and glass piece of furniture and was always very fond of it, for all the memories it brought back from family life. During the quarantine due to Covid 19 pandemic's surge in the world, she was forced to close her studio for the first time in 25 years and stop travelling for openings and exhibitions. Her life as she knew came to a stand-still. She took time to re-centre herself, turning inwards; she drew a lot, and her first drawing-only exhibition came from this experience. She took time to reevaluate her home life as well, and started looking at old objects in new ways. As soon as flea markets started reopening, she found herself buying pieces that somehow would fit this concept she has started developing in her mind: peculiar pieces of furniture, the outcasts of trendy contemporary stores, now gathered for a public show in an upmarket art gallery.
Joana Vasconcelos pursues the creative process of decontextualisation of domestic objects for which she became famous, establishing a dialogue between the public space and the art spaces, offering new perspectives on conventional artefacts. Here, she inserts colourful and tentacular textile shapes into wood and glass structures, adding a touch of richness linked to the concepts of absurd and surreal; in this way, she brings us closer to a territory that is, unexpectedly, organic and multidimensional. With audacity, the artist takes what is usually hidden in the intimacy and privacy of one's home and allows it to inhabit the public domain.
Born in 1971, Joana Vasconcelos is a visual artist known for her monumental sculptures, whose practice extends from video to textile. Re-adapting the concept of craftsmanship in a contemporary key, she incorporates everyday objects with irony and humour, questioning the status of women, consumerism society and collective identity. Vasconcelos achieved international success with her participation in the first Venice Biennale curated by women with The Bride in 2005, followed by Trafaria Praia, and created the biennale's first floating pavilion representing Portugal in 2013. In 2012, she was the youngest and only female artist to exhibit at the Palace of Versailles and in 2018 she became the first Portuguese to exhibit at the Guggenheim Bilbao with a major retrospective, among the most visited at the museum. Recently, she was the first contemporary artist to be invited by the Paolo Orsi Archaeological Museum in Syracuse, for which she created a monumental sculpture in dialogue with a sculpture from the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens. This year, she participated as well in the group show Interection Napoli, curated by Demetrio Paparoni, with a site-specific artwork created inside an old monastery for Fondazione Made in Cloister.
Press release courtesy Mimmo Scognamiglio Artecontemporanea.