Untitled, 1993, by Ana Jotta, is Collection Caixa Geral de Depósitos current highlight as it is currently on loan to the exhibition Ana Jotta.Never the Less. The show, curated by Anthony Huberman and Miguel Wandschneider, is open at The Wattis Institute for the Contemporary Art, San Francisco, USA, from September 7 to November 11, 2023.

Ana Jotta's work combines many different types of media and techniques, from those regarded as 'noble' such as painting, drawing and sculpture, to the use of embroidery, objects found by chance and other random items. As such, the things she employs in her work are transformed into a unique universe that uses irony and cynicism to question the artistic scene as a whole and the creative processes in particular. In many of her works the artist brings together more than one technique, not just on the substance of things, but also by freely establishing relationships on the meanings of the materials used and the images they represent. The polyphonic reading of a split reality, one that is bound to diluting its purposes and intents, seems to be a sufficient, or at least an acceptable, approach to the understanding of a work, which is as complex as apparently simple.

Untitled, 1993, does not escape the premise that underlies the artist’s work, namely the combination of techniques – silk-screen and embroidery – and the use and placement of everyday objects that belong to her compulsive collection. An ordinary sheet embroidered with particular designs triggers similar silk-screen designs: small figures in banal situations. The work becomes something unique via a method of appropriation and copy, which puzzles the viewer on its distinctiveness and originality. This is the game of complicity that encircles Ana Jotta's work: between scattered authorship and creative power, it leaves the understanding to the viewer as an exercise in freedom.

Ana Jotta was born in Lisbon in 1946, where she still lives and works. She studied at Escola Superior de Belas-Artes, Lisbon, and, at a later date, at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre, Brussels. She was awarded the EDP/Arte Grand Prize in 2013. Rua Ana Jotta, her retrospective exhibition, curated by João Fernandes, was presented at Museu de Serralves in 2005. Years later, in 2014, this show was followed by A Conclusão da Precedente an anthological exhibition curated by Miguel Wandschneider.

Hugo Dinis

Ana Jotta
Embroidery and silk-screen on canvas
225 x 159 cm
Inv. 373205
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