April 8 – June 26, 2016:  Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac – France

The artist Ana Jotta is developing a passionate, protean oeuvre through which she is exploring a broad range of media (painting, sculpture, photography, installation) as well as techniques that are traditionally associated with the minor arts (embroidery, pottery, etc.). In doing so she is dismantling the idea of an unambiguous recognizable style. In an approach that is based on reappropriation, Jotta collects objects, iconographies, and the titles of pieces by other artists, redefining her own works with each new exhibition.

At Le Crédac, Jotta is showing several of her emblematic series, including “Jotas.” Playing off the Portuguese homonym of her surname, the letter j, or “jota,” from the start of her career she has been gathering and fashioning a disparate group of sculptures that have the curved shape of that letter and which she exhibits in families of works. In another series, movie screens that are painted or drawn by hand depict decorative motifs like wallpaper, landscapes, and figures.

Moreover, titles like Il Profumo della Signora in Nero (The Perfume of the Lady in Black) or Le Bonheur des tristes (The Happiness of the Sad) open up narrative perspectives. Jotta breaks down all borders between art and life. She is a gleaner and subverts references, citations, and found objects, creating a fertile, iconoclastic body of work.

“Making, always making” seems to be the constant watchword in the development of an art that is both modest and prolific.

Ana Jotta was born in Lisbon in 1946, where she works and lives. After studying at Lisbon’s Fine Arts School and Brussels’ Ecole d’Arts Visuels de l’Abbaye de la Cambre, she made a career as an actress (1969–80) and as a decorator for cinema. From the 1980s onwards, she focused her activity on the visual arts and since the early ’90s has been a regular presence at major art fairs and biennales (ARCO, Brussels, Johannesburg, Barcelona, etc). In 2005, she had a retrospective exhibition at the Museu de Serralves, and solo shows at Culturgest, Lisbon (2006, 2012), 8 rue Saint-Bon (2015) and Level One, gb agency (2013), Paris.