João Távora | mostly drawing

João Távora Lisbon, Portugal, 1981 (joaotavora (at)


2019, Master’s degree, Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts (FBAUL), Lisbon, Portugal

2016, Bachelor’s degree, Drawing, FBAUL, Lisbon

2005, 5-year pre-bologna Electrical Engineering Degree, IST, Lisbon, Portugal

Solo shows

2019, A burning thing, Galeria Monumental, Lisbon, Portugal

2018, Bonus Dormitat Homerus, Espaço ECM, Lisbon

2018, O sorriso sem gato, Casa das Artes, Tavira, Portugal

Group shows (selection)

2020, Contingere, cur. Mariana Hartenthal, Cisterna galley, Lisbon, Portugal

2020, Mostra 2020 5th edition, Portuguese Contemporary Art, Lisbon, Portugal

2019, Cock Christmas, Cash Only, Atelier Concorde, Lisbon, Portugal

2019, Drawing Room, Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes, Lisbon, Portugal

2018, XX Bienal de Arte de Cerveira, Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal

2018, JustMAD Art Fair (Galeria Monumental), Madrid, Spain

2017, Paula Rego Drawing Prize (shortlisted), Casa das Histórias, Cascais, Portugal

2016, Paula Rego Drawing Prize (special mention winner), Cascais, Portugal


A drawing is a mundane and a bizarre thing. It’s mundane because we can find tiny drawings on paper napkins or colossal drawings on the wall of a room, such as those made silently by a dedicated child when we weren’t looking. A drawing can portray a grandiose mythological episode, a trivial burlesque feat, or be but a scribble and represent nothing at all.

Why bizzare? While it’s true that a drawing can portray a story or have some kind of narrative forerunner, it also contains its own time, different from that narrative time. This time is unreasonably vast, even vaster than the time it took to do the drawing: it is a kind of perpetual present. A drawing is a residue, or whatever is left after an assault of mark-making onto a surface, indeed into that surface. No matter the extent of this assault or how polished the drawing looks, the final mark always escapes us, it is the mark of departure.

It’s the story of these accidents and mishaps, anchored precariously onto thin paper, that sometimes looks back at us. (João Távora, 2017)