Francisco Vidal
visual artist; representative, Angolan Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2015

Francisco Vidal was born in Lisbon in 1978. He is Portuguese, Angolan and Cape Verdean, and lives between Luanda, Angola and Lisbon, Portugal. Vidal holds an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts in New York. He was part of the official selection of the Angolan Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), and also represented Angola at Expo Milan (2015). Recent exhibitions include: Bozar, Brussels (2017); Maumaus School of Visual Arts, Lisbon (2017); Museu Afro Brasil, São Paulo (2016),; Freies Museum/Savvy Contemporary, Berlin (2015); Instituto Camões, Luanda (2014); UNAP, Luanda (2014); Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (2010); and Instituto Camões in Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique (2007). His work is represented in public collections including the EDP Foundation, PLMJ Foundation and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Francisco Vidal’s practice highlights ideas around labour and international mobility. He is known for his large painting installations layering bold, calligraphic line paintings on screen prints depicting vividly coloured cotton flowers in various chromatic schemes. The flowers refer to an uprising led by the agricultural workers of a Portuguese-Belgian cotton plantation in Angola in 1961. This event is considered the first battle of the Angolan War of Independence, and forms the core of Vidal’s reflection around political dissent, the spirit of social revolution and the legacy of marxism within the context of trade and economic growth across Africa in the 20th and 21st centuries.