João Penalva was born in Lisbon in 1949. He has lived and worked in London since 1976.
He represented Portugal at the XLIX Biennale di Venezia (2001) and the XXIII Bienal Internacional de São Paulo (1996). Solo exhibitions include Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Trondheim (2014) Brandts Kunsthallen, Odense (2012); Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (2011); Lunds Konsthall, Lund (2010); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2006); Serralves Museum, Oporto, and Ludwig Museum Budapest, (2005); The Power Plant, Toronto (2003); Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö, (2002) and Camden Arts Centre, London, and Tramway, Glasgow, (2000). Group exhibitions include Tate Modern, London (2014); Haus der Kunst, Munich, K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfallen, Dusseldorf (2011); Hayward Gallery London (2010); Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2007); KIASMA Museum, Helsinki (2003); Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2003, 2007, 2012); MNCA Reina Sofia, Madrid (2001); Berlin Biennale 2 (2001).
Penalva was awarded the DAAD Berlin Artist’s Residency in 2003.