Portugal’s 2013 Venice Biennale Pavilion Goes to Joana Vasconcelos

‘Vizir’ (2009) by Joana Vasconcelos. (Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia)

With the arrival of summer, it’s getting busy on the Venice Biennale front. Earlier this week word broke of Austria’s selection, this morning Hong Kong stated its choice, and now Portugal has declared that it will hand over its pavilion to Paris-born artist Joana Vasconcelos in 2013.

The announcement comes courtesy of Portugal Daily View, which reports that the country’s secretary of state for culture, Francisco José Viegas, told press that Ms. Vasconcelos was selected because “it was time to correct the mistake” of her previous absence at the pavilion.

This may be one of the best weeks of Ms. Vasconcelos’s life, given that her show at Versailles also opened to the public a few days ago. She is the first female artist to exhibit at the former palace of the Bourbon monarchy.

Ms. Vasconcelos, whose galleries include Galerie Nathalie Obadia and Haunch of Venison, makes energetically colored sculptures, wall-hung works and installations that frequently incorporate various textiles and a variety of unusual materials.

Here’s PDV describing three of her most famous works:

Three of the most famous pieces are “Marylin“, a pair of shoes made from stainless steel pots, pans and their lids, “Coração Independente” (Independent Heart), a sculpture made of plastic cutlery that reproduces Portuguese filigree technique, and “A Noiva” (The Bride), a chandelier made from tampons.

Mr. Viegas championed her work’s “Portugueseness” in his remarks, terming it “astoundingly modern.”

Portugal’s 2013 Venice Biennale Pavilion Goes to Joana Vasconcelos