1 MAY – 3 NOVEMBER 2024

Exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Palace of Versailles, the Uffizi in Florence, and, last but not least, her spectacular contributions to the 2005 and 2013 Venice Biennales have made her a globally sought-after artist whose sensual, theatrical works fascinate and enchant her audiences. Joana Vasconcelos, born in Paris in 1971, creates works that blend art, fashion, and design with ease and in unique, compelling ways.
Joana Vasconcelos, VALKYRIE THYRA, 2023. Copyright: VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024, Foto: Kapelle Schloss Gottorf, Fotograf Marcus Dewanger 

The Schleswig-Holstein State Museums are dedicating the most extensive exhibition in Germany to the Portuguese artist to date. Ten room-filling installations can be seen on the Museum Island in Schleswig, including the Valkyries Marina Rinaldi, Martha and Thyra. Another monumental work - Ostfriesland - is on display at the Ornamental Cast Iron Museum in Büdelsdorf. The exhibition shows the many facets of Vasconcelos's artistic oeuvre.

Joana Vasconcelos, VALKYRIE MARINA RINALDI, 2014. Copyright: VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024, Foto: Reithalle Schloss Gottorf mit Besucherin, Fotograf Marcus Dewanger 

Joana Vasconcelos’s Valkyries are creatures made of fabrics, lace, embroidery, wool, sequins, beads, feathers, and LEDs. Hovering confidently, they extend their tentacles in all directions, occupying the spaces with gentle power. Compared to their ruthless namesakes from Scandinavian mythology ‒ the demonic women spirits in Odin’s entourage, whose apparition, on horseback in shining armour, portends death and is said to conjure up Northern Lights in the sky ‒ Vasconcelos’s luminous Valkyries appear peaceful and protective.

Joana Vasconcelos, VALKYRIE MARTHA, 2022-2024. Copyright: VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024, Foto: Kreuzstall Schloss Gottorf, Fotograf Marcus Dewanger 

They, and the strong women to whom they are dedicated, including the philosopher and feminist Simone de Beauvoir, the dressmaker Marina Rinaldi, the resistance fighter and rose grower Catherine Dior, the superheroine and social worker Mary Poppins, and Elizabeth ‘Mumbet’ Freeman, a major figure in the abolitionist movement, show that history is made and often takes a different course than what myth promises. Vasconcelos’s Valkyries reflect female self-empowerment and symbolise the ability to take fate into one’s own hands and change conditions.

Joana Vasconcelos, RED INDEPENDENT HEART, 2013. Copyright: VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024, Foto: Schloss Gottorf, Fotograf Marcus Dewanger 



Joana Vasconcelos (b. 1971) is a Portuguese visual artist with a career spanning nearly 30 years and a huge variety of media. Recognised for her monumental sculptures and immersive installations, she decontextualises everyday objects and updates the arts and crafts concept for the 21st century, establishing a dialogue between the private sphere and public space, popular heritage, and high culture. With humor and irony, she questions the status of women, consumer society, and collective identity.

International acclaim arrived in 2005 with The Bride at the first Venice Biennale curated by women, where she has returned three times to dat...
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