Joana Vasconcelos’s solo debut in Germany has “special flavour”

The Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos inaugurates today the first individual exhibition in Germany, at the Marx Ernst Museum in Brühl, and the exhibition has for itself “a special flavour“.

Entitled ‘Maximal’, it brings together a selection of twenty works by the artist “around the work of Marx Ernst” and with a “perspective on surrealism”, reveals Joana Vasconcelos, adding that the exhibition resulted from a work of more than one year.

I stopped in Madrid, then stopped in Paris, and went to visit the [Georges Center] Pompidou where there was a great exhibition of Marx Ernst [painter, sculptor, graphic artist and a poet, born in Germany.) I took a photo with the Capricorn [sculpture of 1948], which is perhaps his most important piece. I have always kept this photograph and, interestingly, three decades later, I am exposing it to his side“, indicated Joana Vasconcelos, stressing that, therefore, the exhibition has a “special flavour“.

In the exhibition there is a “kind of exchange” in which the artist takes one of her works to the middle of the collection of Marx Ernst, next to his sculptures, also bringing a piece to his exhibition.

Exhibiting the first time in Germany, alone in a museum, and this museum being Marx Ernst, has a particular meaning for me because 30 years ago I would not dream of being at the side of Marx Ernst and being a plastic artist. When I look back, I think life is a lot of fun. It’s incredible that life has brought me here, it’s fantastic, “he said.

The work to be exhibited includes pieces ranging from the emblematic ‘Red Independent Heart’ and ‘Carmen Miranda’, from the ‘Shoes’ series, to older ones such as ‘Brise’ and ‘Spin’ ‘and’ Passerelle ‘(from 2005), to a few that are rarely presented to the public, such as’ Style for Your Hair’ (2000), contemporary of ‘Mise’, and which evokes, on a large scale, or “Matilha” (2005), set of several porcelain dogs, covered with crochet.

The heart of Viana [Red Independent Heart] is at the centre of the exhibition, ‘Cottonopolis’, which is a huge piece that I made for the Manchester museum, runs counter to the sculpture of ‘Moonmad’ by Marx Ernst. series of pieces, such as ‘Pantelmina’, which is one of the first knitted ones, has pieces connected to the water and the bathroom, a series of pieces connected to the hair … In fact, it has several work centers that are combined in order to create totally different spaces, “he told.

Joana Vasconcelos points out that “it was not difficult” to choose the 20 works, which will be exhibited until August 4 at the Max Ernst Museum Brühl des LVR and does not hide the desire to take their work to the German capital.

I travel to where my work takes me, I would love to do an exhibition in Berlin. It may be that after this comes an invitation to Berlin,” the artist confessed.

‘Maximal’, the exhibition, opens today, late afternoon.

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