Ana Mendes, Ana, 2009, visual poetry, ink and rubber stamp on paper, size 297 x 210 mm © Ana Mendes
Ana Mendes is a Portuguese visual artist and writer living and working in London and Stockholm, where she finished an MA in Writing for Performance at Goldsmiths College (2011). She also studied video at Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden (2019) and animation film at La Poudriere, Valence, France (2008).
Mendes creates works in video, performance, photography, video, text and installation to speak on subjects such as memory, language and identity. Her work is based on concept/idea and created using as few materials as possible, relying on the intellectual framework. Similarly, it also aims to question the notion of art as idea or the idea of art, as formulated by Jeanne Siegel. Some of her projects are created in collaboration with artists, labour workers or scientists, following a process in which Mendes spends a considerable amount of time on her own – researching, experimenting and playing with new ideas until she arrives at a concept that she finds sustainable. Afterwards, she invites other people to collaborate with her, going through a mutual learning process.
Recent solo shows include: Konstepidemin / GIBCA Extended 2021 (Gothenburg International Biennial Contemporary Art), Gothenburg, Sweden; Chelsea College, Telephone Gallery, London, UK, 2019; Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria; Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria, Akademie Schloss Solitude and Linden Museum Stuttgart, Germany (all 2017).
Group shows include: Royal Academy of Art, Summer Exhibition, 2021; Korean Gallery, Korean Cultural Centre, NY, USA; Taoyuan International Award, Taoyuan Museum of Fine Art, Taiwan; Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition, Denmark (all 2021).
Mendes has been the recipient of numerous awards, including: Taoyuan International Award, Honourable Mention and Audience Choice Award, Taoyuan Museum of Fine Art, Taoyuan, Taiwan, 2021; Artist Revelation Award ADAGP/ MAD Days, finalist, Paris/France, 2019; Jerwood Drawing Prize, second prize winner, London, UK, 2017; Honorable Mention, Prize of the Jury, MAAT Museum/Fuso Festival, Lisbon, Portugal, 2016; MAC International Ulster Bank Prize, finalist, Belfast, UK, 2016; Prize of the Jury Sophiensaele, Festival 100 Grad, winner, Berlin, Germany, 2014; Act-Arriaga Prize, winner, Act Festival, Bilbao, Spain, 2012; Literary Award/ Dramaturgy, winner, City of Albufeira, Portugal, 2009; ‘This is not a competition’, co-winner, Artistas Unidos, Lisbon, Portugal, 2008. She has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, namely: Akademie Schloss Solitude 2015/17, Stuttgart, Germany; IASPIS, Stockholm, Sweden, 2017, Foundation Calouste Gulbenkian, Portugal, 2010/11. Her work has been supported by Arts Council England, British Council, Iaspis – The Swedish International Arts Grants Committee for Visual and Applied Arts, Sweden, Migros Culture Percentage, Switzerland, among others.