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The first UK showing of the extraordinary work of Portuguese artist Helena Almeida. The exhibition will present a selection of works made over the last 40 years in a major solo exhibition.
Almeida’s work includes photography, performance and drawing. Although the artist is always in front of the camera, she insists that her images are not self-portraits. Dressed in black since the early 1970’s, sometimes with objects or furniture found in her studio, she assumes positions that she has painstakingly choreographed in order to create complex visual compositions that are as much about space and line as the relationship between the artist and the image. Sometimes she further complicates these compositions by painting directly onto the photographs in bold primary blue or red.
Recent international exhibitions at the Fundacion Telefonica, Madrid (2009), The Drawing Centre, New York and the Sydney Biennial (2004), the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostella (2000), have brought greater recognition of this artist’s significance both in relation to Portuguese art but in a wider international context. Almeida has represented Portugal twice at the Venice Biennial, in 1982 and 2005.
The exhibition at Kettle’s Yard will be accompanied by a bilingual publication that will offer greater access to Almeida’s work for English-speakers and new essays by Alyce Mahon and Lilian Tone that will examine her affinities with major cultural and artistic movements such as Performance Art, Brazilian Neoconcretisism and Feminism. You can buy this publication here.
Exhibition supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Organised by Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge and John Hansard Gallery, Southampton to where it will tour in February 2010