Ana Cardoso, Moléculas (Pterodactylus, Matisse, Etc), 2022-2023; acrylic on sewn cotton and linen; multipanel composed of 19 canvases; 235 x 570 cm overall

Ana Cardoso (b. 1978, Lisbon) is an artist based in Lisbon and New York. Cardoso’s practice provides a singular take on abstraction, performance, and installation through the reinterpretation of painting in both stable and fluid contexts. Her paintings are objects that interact as bodies and function as props.

Her solo exhibition Leaky Abstraction was recently on view at MAAT Museum in Lisbon (2023). She has had solo/duo exhibitions at Renata Fabbri, Milan (2023); Nuno Centeno, Porto (2019); Parapet Real Humans, St Louis (2018); Arpad Szenes—Vieira da Silva Museum, Lisbon (2018); Temnikova & Kasela, Tallin (2017); Jablonka Maruani Mercier, Knokke (2016); Andrew Rafacz, Chicago (2015); MNAC—Contemporary Art Museum, Lisbon (2015); Múrias Centeno, Lisbon (2014); Longhouse Projects, New York (2014); Maisterravalbuena, Madrid (2012); Pedro Cera, Lisbon (2012); Soloway, Brooklyn (2011); Conduits, Milan (2011); Southfirst, Brooklyn (2008); among others.

Cardoso was included in exhibitions such as Footnote 15: A Prototype, Galerias Municipais—Galeria da Boavista, Lisbon (2022); Pintura: Campo de Observação, Cristina Guerra, Lisbon (2021); Modern Collection, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon (2018-2019); EDP Foundation’s New Artists Award, MAAT Museum, Lisbon (2017); Old Truths & New Lies, Rachel Uffner, New York (2015); Modern Talking, Cluj-Napoca Art Museum, Cluj (2012); Prague Biennial 5, Prague (2011); Tate Film: Exploring the Abstract, Tate St Ives, Cornwall (2011); With, Against, And Yet: Painting And The Ready-Made Gesture, The Kitchen, New York (2009); Bendover/Hangover: An Evening com Cinema Zero, White Flag Projects, St Louis (2008); Fidelidade Mundial Young Artists Prize, Culturgest, Lisbon (2007).

Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Flash Art, Mousse, Modern Painters, Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, Contemporânea, among other publications. It was featured in Painting Now edited by Suzanne Hudson, published by Thames & Hudson (2015).

Ana Cardoso received her MFA from Hunter College, New York (2006). She has been awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant (2019-2020) and was a fellow of Shandaken : Projects, Paint School masterclass (2018-2019).



Recently on view >


Ana Cardoso: Leaky Abstraction

MAAT, Lisbon

Curated by Joao Pinharanda

28.03 — 17.09.2023



Text by João Pinharanda


Ana Cardoso, Leaky Abstraction,  MAAT, Lisbon, 2023

Installation views © Joao Neves



Essay by William J. Simmons



Essay by Maika Pollack



Ana Cardoso, Terra-Triangular, 2022-2023 (film still)
Super 8 Film transferred to video; Music by Tim Pierson; 4 min 16 s

©Ana Cardoso

Leaky Abstraction PDF




Ana Cardoso: Shared Cache

Nuno Centeno, Porto

13.05 — 10.06.2023

Nuno Centeno Gallery presents Ana Cardoso: Shared Cache, a display of recent paintings from her ongoing series of modular and re-arrangeable panels. This is her fifth exhibition with the gallery.

For the past decade, Cardoso has been questioning the limits of abstraction in painting, and exploring its object as one that is open and multiple. In her work, paintings are made in parts (shaped canvases), and assembled at some point, as if in blind dates. The status of the finished work and the assertion of painting as an ongoing process are brought forward by the artist, as well as her straightforward use of the medium’s materials: she uses and recycles unprimed cotton and linen fabrics that she paints, draws, cuts, sews, stretches and un-stretches, as a way of conveying a widely experimental practice — one that encapsulates matter to challenge it’s perception.

Shared Cache, as in a system’s processor, is about latency, potential and their shared economy.



Ana Cardoso: Your Payment Verification Code is 26QNFLU9

Renata Fabbri, Milan


Less Form, More Painting:
Ana Cardoso’s “Your Payment Verification Code Is 26QNFLU9”

by Gea Politi

I had just finishing reading (again, possibly for the third time) John Berger’s Ways of Seeing when Ana Cardoso asked me to write a critical text for her show at Renata Fabbri, in Milan.

Ana is a dear friend, and I have been an admirer and supporter of her work since the late-2000s. I was beyond excited that she was going to show her latest body of work in my hometown.

Looking at images of the works she was going to present, I immediately thought of a sentence from the book I’d just finished reading:

We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves. Our vision is continually active, continually moving, continually holding things in a circle around itself, constituting what is present to us as we are.

This new body of work, at first glance, feels more performative than her earlier modular works, which also had a physical approach, but followed color schemes based more on the installation rather than any discrete painterly gesture.

In her new works, Ana’s physicality is more daring. She is not afraid to employ imagery and a more overt storytelling approach. Her work has shifted from
a subtle formalism to a more tangible conceptual approach. Less form, more painting.

Ana’s work is about unlocking complexity. When she was still spending most of her time in New York, there were times when I would visit her studio more than once within a few days. Each time her work would have developed further toward the “breaking of a code” (one of her earlier works was titled Code Break). She always connected the digital and the mathematical to her practice, exposing elaborate patterns throughout her modules. It was as if composition and color could impose their own necessary condition, in the same way that necessity and sufficiency are terms used to describe conditional or implicational relationships in logic and mathematics.

Ana’s titles have often conjured the intricacies of
the digital world. Since the mid-2010s until now, this association has suggested a connection between data compression and the canvas: painting as a form of database storage, the file’s contents informed by
its title. This relationship is further complicated by the unusual shapes in Cardoso’s new body of work. Form Reform (Atomic Abyss), one of the central works of this exhibition, employs a twisted, DNA-like form. The painting is still modular, but the gestural acrylic seems almost migratory, as if coming out of the front of the canvas and continuing on the back.

In 26QNFLU9, the word “flu” in the title evokes a form of virus (or not), which in turn reflects aspects of the actual painting: turquoise acrylic overlaying graphite, chaotically invading a composition compressed into a triangle-shaped canvas.

Path Finder dares a more pastel palette, and elements are placed as if the shape is turning a page. The work may indeed have to do with finding a path, as the title suggests.

Your Identity History Summary Request includes silhouettes of a pterosaur—the prehistoric winged lizard that Cardoso borrowed from her children’s collection. It is a more playful work, both in terms of subject matter and its colorful, stencil-enhanced narrative sequences.

As in Berger’s relational way of seeing, each of the paintings in this show changes according to its hanging; there is always another way to present these works, including playing with back and front.

Each of Cardoso’s modules easily stands on its own, but connected they reveal the workings of
an essential code embedded in painting’s three- dimensionality. Each module belongs to a different time—a composition in the making. It is the ultimate performative act in painting.



Footnote 15: A Prototype

Ana Cardoso, Union Gaucha Productions (Karin Schneider, Nicolás Guagnini), Eileen Quinlan, Jorge Pinheiro, Igor Krenz, Józef Robakowski, Monika Sosnowska, Tomás Cunha Ferreira

Curated by Barbara Piwowarska

Galerias Municipais — Galeria da Boavista, Lisbon

19.02.2022 – 30.04.2022

Installation view of Footnote 15: A Prototype, with Jorge Pinheiro, Tomás Cunha Ferreira, Ana Cardoso


Ana Cardoso, Pendente (2022)


Installation view of Footnote 15: A Prototype, with Ana Cardoso, Jorge Pinheiro, and films by Union Gaucha Productions (Karin Schneider, Nicolás Guagnini), and Igor Krenz


Eileen Quinlan, Gravity Falls; We Don’t Talk; The Hollow; First Things First; Creeping Crystal (2022)


Installation view of Footnote 15: A Prototype, with Jorge Pinheiro, and film by Union Gaucha Productions (Karin Schneider, Nicolás Guagnini)


Film still from Phantom Limb (1998) by Union Gaucha Productions


Ana Cardoso, Participante (2022)


Installation view of Footnote 15: A Prototype, with Jorge Pinheiro, Tomás Cunha Ferreira, Monika Sosnowska, Ana Cardoso, and film by Józef Robakowski


Installation view of Footnote 15: A Prototype, with Ana Cardoso, Tomás Cunha Ferreira

Installation views ©João Neves





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