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João Penalva

A Mead Gallery Exhibition

Tue 9 Oct – Sat 8 Dec 2007

The Mead Gallery has commissioned João Penalva to make an ambitious new work for its whole space. He is an artist who creates images, spaces and entire environments that are rich in narratives and yet they create for the viewer the sensation that he is somehow recalling their own ideas and memories.

Taking on the role of stage director, Joao Penalva has commissioned stage-sized painted renditions of found photographs from the scenic painter Ray Lett and music for a mechanical shadow theatre from composer Chan Zhuomin. Into the time and space of the Mead Gallery, other spaces, other times are imagined into being, creating a vivid, sensory experience of theatre, film and exhibition.

Born in 1949 in Lisbon, Portugal, and a resident of London since 1976, this is Joao Penalva’s first major solo exhibition in the UK. His work has been presented across the world: at the art biennales of Sao Paulo, Berlin, Sydney and Venice and, most recently, in a series of solo exhibitions at the Serralves Museum in Oporto, Portugal, the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Hungary, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin.

The exhibition is accompanied by a beautiful artist’s book of images.

Exhibition supported by the Henry Moore Foundation and The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation