Isabel Carvalho develops her work between visual arts and writing, focusing on language and its creative and transformative potential. Her work includes drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and performance, but also literature, book publishing, magazines, blogs, websites, posters and artist publications. Breaking down boundaries between high and popular culture, she embraces ideas of amateurism, authorial expropriation, encounter, exchange and collaboration, sometimes fictionalising these through the use of heteronyms such as Clara Batalha.
Plateau singers merge languages together (2013) by Isabel CarvalhoOriginal Source: Galeria Quadrado Azul
Plateau singers merge languages together, 2013
Engravings on plexiglas plates
31 x 227 x 17,2 cm
Galeria Quadrado Azul, inv. C3120
Carvalho relies on the daily recording of banal events, word games and anagrams. She explores language as a cultural construction, remaining particularly attentive to non-verbal communication, desire and eroticism in female and queer identities in relation to the other, to ecology, to the economy and to politics.
Lexicon CB (2019) by Isabel CarvalhoOriginal Source: Portuguese State Contemporary Art Collection
Lexicon CB, 2019
Clay shapes transferred onto blinds with spray paint
3 x (250 x 170 cm)
Portuguese State Contemporary Art Collection, inv. 1376
Self-management forms part of Isabel Carvalho's practice of continuous intervention in the creation of independent territories, especially in and from the city of Porto in Portugal. This activity includes self-publishing, management and programming of exhibition spaces, the organisation of residences and community kitchens, the holding of music and spoken word concerts, and the creation and maintenance of digital platforms, among other poetic and concrete actions.
Interjections (2019) by Isabel CarvalhoOriginal Source: Galeria Quadrado Azul
Clay, plaster, acrylic spray and cosmetics
27 x 12,5 x 4,5 cm
Galeria Quadrado Azul, inv. C3040
Selection of works presented at the exhibition All I want: Portuguese women artists from 1900 to 2020, in its first moment at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, within the scope of the cultural program that takes place in parallel to the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021.
Exhibition organized by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in co-production with the Center of Contemporary Creation Olivier Debré, Tours, and with the collaboration of the Plano Nacional das Artes (Portugal).
Helena de Freitas and Bruno Marchand
Text by Lígia Afonso / Plano Nacional das Artes
Selection of online resources Maria de Brito Matias
Learn more about Isabel Carvalho's works presented in the context of this exhibition:
All I want: The Space of Writing