Helena Almeida

How come I don’t know anything about the Portuguese artist Helena Almeida?!

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I must hasten to add: Helena Almeida is highly regarded – by those who know her, but if you try to do any research on her work you’ll find your sources to be … sparse (to put it mildly). There is, I believe, two reasons for her relative anonymity in the art world, none of them have anything to do with aesthetic quality:

  1. She is a woman
  2. She is Portuguese

Fame and recognition in the art world is still mainly reserved for white men, situated in the US or central Europe.

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One of the best presentations of Helena Almeida I have found so far, is this video from Jeu de Paume:

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If you happen to know anything about her – please let me know!


Helena Almeida, born in Portugal in 1934. Helena Almeida has developed a body of work that marries unconventional materials with photography, drawings, and performance. Presented at the Venice Biennale in 2005 with the exhibition Intus.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. MarinaSofia says:

    Very interesting – thank you for the introduction! I enjoyed that little film too.

  2. Harold Rhenisch says:

    Out of curiosity, I tried a search on Google Scholar in German… not much luck. I tried a search on Google Images. Maybe there’s something there? One of the first hits was <> … likely you’ve seen it, but maybe not. or this? <> and no doubt this <> Out of curiosity, I tried a search on Bing… some different images and exhibitions showed up, or at least were closer to the top of the list. So, I tried Google Scholar in Portuguese. A number of citations to scholarly articles and books showed up. Here’s one: http://www.openbibart.fr/item/display/10068/895860. For example, I tried “Almeida helena fotografia arta” and got <> and this doctoral thesis <> Note: changing the search terms and search language really changes what shows up Worth a try? I don’t have access to a library with these titles. Perhaps you do? Thanks for inspiring my little search.

    1. Sigrun says:

      Thank you, Harold! I’m working my way S L O W L Y through everything I can find, links very much appreciated!

  3. Harold Rhenisch says:

    out of enthusiasm, inspired by your blog, this final note: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ8gFEFtKR4 no doubt, you’ve seen it, but did you notice that there are 3 other videos referenced? No doubt you did. Just sharing.

  4. Rio says:

    So exciting! I am not surprised that I never heard of her as I am just learning about the art of the last century now but I worry that she is the tip of an iceberg that may already have been lost, a massive silence of women artists. *shudders* No, I won’t go there in my ponderings. (on my breast bone my father’s words are engraved “a woman can paint but only like a woman”) *shudders*

  5. I have done alot of research about Helena Almeida. I have a show in Portugal in January and the work is partially inspired by Almeida. Send me your email and I will send you an invitation. Best, Sherry Wiggins
    email: sherrywiggins55@hotmail.com
    https://sherrywigginsblog.com/

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