João Penalva“Works with Texts and Images” Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense March 2 – May 28, 2012
The Kunsthallen Brandts exhibition hall in Odense, Denmark, is holding its first showing of the works of the Portuguese artist João Panalva (1949): 4 installations and 5 films, all made in the last 13 years. The exhibition will be open March 2 through May 28.
Having started off as a professional ballet dancer, at age 27 the artist decided to move to London, with the goal of studying visual art at the Chelsea College of Art & Design and devoting his life to painting. At the start of this new creative career, Penalva became known as a neo-expressionist painter. Then, in the 1990's, he began to branch out into other artistic media: video, installations, photography, even music; his new creative axis was his interest in the relationships between image, text, language and narrative.
The installations in this latest exhibition reveal Penalva's interest in events that reach beyond the borders of inner self-analysis. Arcade (2001) consists of photographs of urban spaces, exhibited, along with accompanying text, on two 30 meter-long walls. Addressing the Weeds in Hiroshima (1997) is also a series of photographs and texts, accompanied by several terrariums containing weeds that survived the atomic bomb and were found growing on the concrete floor of a Hiroshima factory. And then there's the installation Pavlina and Dr. Erlenmeyer (2010), dedicated to a 19th century German chemist, that illustrates the fine line between a scientist's world of imagination, and his life and work.
Addressing the Weeds in Hiroshima. 1997
Penalva continues to live in London; since 2002, he also works as a guest-lecturer at the Malmö Art Academy in Sweden.