National Museum of Women in the Arts
Adriana Varejão
November 11 1964 - present
Photograph of Adriana Varejão, courtesy of Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, NY, USA
Place of Birth:
Rio de Janeiro
Phonetic Spelling:
ah-dree-AHN-ah vahr-eh-ZHOW(n)
Work Type/Media:
Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Installation Art
Artistic Role(s):
Installation Artist, Painter, Photographer, Sculptor
Artist's Biography:
The visually interesting work of Adriana Varejão draws on her heritage as an artist living and working in Brazil. Incorporating both popular and art historical images in her painting, and appropriating potent remnants of Brazil’s colonial past, she constructs sculptural paintings that often take the fragmented or eviscerated human body as their subject. Extremely tactile and often saturated in blood-red hues, Varejão’s highly visceral work recalls the pain and pleasure that accompanies both colonialism and the creative process. Her work defies narrow classification. Although her work is of a culture, it reaches beyond geographical boundaries.

In her new paintings, Varejão uses the sea as point of departure. Continually re-examining and representing Brazil’s cultural history, Varejão views the sea as the common link between countries such as Portugal, China and India; all countries sharing in Brazil’s development.

Born in 1964, Adriana Varejão has been included in the 1998 São Paolo Biennial, the 1995 Johannesburg Biennial, and was included in the first Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, which opened in September 1999. In addition, she has exhibited internationally at Galeria Carmargo in São Paolo, Guislaine Husenot in Paris, and Soledad Lorenzo in Madrid. In 2005, she exhibited at the Fondation Cartier Pour l’ Art Contemporain in Paris.

Biography courtesy of Lehman Maupin Gallery, New York, NY, USA

Place(s) of Residence:
Rio de Janeiro
Where Trained/Schools:
School of Visual Arts, Parque Laje, Brazil (1981-1985)
Related Visual Artists:
colleague of Cildo Meireles
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Artist-in-Residence, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA, USA (2004) Purchase Award, IX Salão Nacional de Artes Plásticas, Fundação Nacional de Arte, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1987)
Earliest exhibition:
Novos Novos, Galeria de Centro Empresarial Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1987)
NMWA exhibition(s):
Virgin Territory: Women, Gender, and History in Contemporary Brazilian Art
Modern Love: Gifts to the Collection from Heather and Tony Podesta
Contingente, 2000
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