João Penalva was born in Lisbon in 1949 and has been living and working in London since 1976. He has been teaching at the Malmö Art Academy at the University of Lund since 2002. Penalva was awarded the DAAD Berlin Artist’s Residency in 2003.
He represented Portugal at the XXIII Bienal Internacional de São Paulo (1996) and the XLIX Biennale di Venezia (2001). Solo exhibitions include Camden Arts Centre, London, and Tramway, Glasgow (2000); Rooseum, Malmö (2002); The Power Plant, Toronto (2003); Serralves Museum, Porto; Ludwig Museum Budapest (2005); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2006); Lunds Konsthall, Lund (2010); Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon (2011), Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense (2012); Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Trondheim (2014). Group exhibitions include the Berlin Biennale 2 (2001), the Biennale of Sydney (2002), KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2003), Museum of Modern Art, Luxembourg (2006); Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2007); Hayward Gallery, London (2010); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2011); Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K21, Düsseldorf; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (2012); Tate Modern, London (2014); Museum Folkwang, Essen; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (2015); Wellcome Collection, London (2017). Currently, Penalva is preparing an extensive exhibition for MUDAM, Musée d’Art Moderne, Luxembourg, opening February 2018.