Paris-born and Lisbon-based Joana Vasconcelos is the foremost Portuguese artist of her generation. Known for her aesthetic extravagance, her oversized textile sculptures of everyday items toe the line between whimsy and aggressiveness, and she is noted for her use of unusual materials. Vasconcelos’ beautiful hanging chandelier “The Bride”, for example, is ever so fittingly made from tampons.
Earlier in the year, her already larger than life creations seemed monumental as they made their home within the gilded walls of the Chateau de Versailles. Yet Vasconcelos herself has stated that her sculptures aren’t excessively decorative, rather they simply interact with the space. This was proved most startlingly with her Versailles exhibit, it is proving to be the case with her current show at Haunch of Venison, and will no doubt continue to be the case next year when she represents Portugal in the 2013 Venice Bienale.