João Eduardo de Vilhena

A MALA MATRIZ, 2003 | Minium, carbon paper, magnet, acrylic and pencil (pantograph) on thermoadhesive paper, wood and canvas, 98x196cm

In João Vilhena’s career A mala matriz is, to use the words of Duchamp, a “hinge-pin painting” in both the literal and figurative senses. At one and the same time a carrying case and a diptych, this painting acts as a concentration of the painter’s work. To the right, it shows a representation, meticulous to the point of absurdity, of half a mattress, insignificant illusion of a flattened reality; while to the left a plane covered in thermo-adhesive paper imitating wood lends a ready-made dimension to the painting. It must be said that the title forms a pun in Portuguese, based on the ambiguity between a matrix case and an injunction to love the matrix.

Translated and adapted from the original text “Dérouiller la peinture” (Catherine Macchi).


1998 Diplôme National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique, Villa Arson, Nice
1995 Diplôme National d’Art Plastique, Villa Arson, Nice
1992 12th year of Art and Design, Bocage Secondary School, Setúbal


2001 Celui qui voit doit toucher, Galerie Agnès Scotto, Mouans-Sartoux
1999 Vitrine des Ateliers, Place Yves Klein, Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice


2003 Exhibition at the 7th Edition of the D. Fernando II painting and sculpture award, Sintra
2003 Lee 3 Tau Ceti Armory Show, Centre National des Arts Plastiques Villa Arson, Nice
2001 Jolie attaque pour perdre, commissariat: Ben e La Station, Espace des Arts, Colomierss
2001 Artissima, International Fair of Contemporary Art ; stand of the Turin French Cultural Centre
2001 VIIe Biennale mediterranéenne, Galerie de la Marine, Nice
2000 L’art est un sport de haut niveau, Galerie Alain Couturier, Nice
1996 49F 90, La Caisse, Nice Fine Arts
1995 Nice by Night 2, private apartments by night, Nice


From 2001 Draughtsman, Cabinet Études et Réalisations Sorridente, Saint Paul de Vence
2000 Running of workshop, L’empreinte et la contrainte, Monaco Art School Teacher of drawing at the M.J.M. school, Nice
2000 Restoration of stuccoes at the former Palais Sarde, Préfecture, Nice
1999 Assistance in mounting individual exhibition of Elisabeth Vary, Galerie Evelyne Canus, La Colle-sur-Loup
1997 A number of monumental wall drawings resulting from architectural plans of villas based on a Pascal Convert project within the scope of his individual exhibition, Villa Arson, Nice
1996/97 Mounting of exhibitions at the Galeria Sintitulo, Nice
1996 A wall drawing based on a Robert Barry project within the scope of the programme of the artists’ rooms, Hotel Windsor, Nice
1994 Three wall drawings, based on a Gérad Collin-Thiébaut project within the scope of his individual exhibition, Villa Arson, Nice
1993 Assistance in mounting Sturtevant’s individual exhibition, Villa Arson, Nice

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