Rivane Neuenschwander was born in 1967 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where she lives and works. She studied at the School of Fine Arts, UFMG, Brazil and the Royal College of Art in London, England.
She has exhibited her work internationally, including solo exhibitions at IASPIS (the International Artists Studio Program in Sweden), Stockholm, Sweden (2000); Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England (1997, 1999); Galeria Camargo Vilaça, Sao Paolo, Brazil (1998, 2000); and Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2000).
She has participated in numerous international biennials and festivals, including the 5th International Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (1997); the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale, South Africa (1997); XXIV Biennale of Sao Paolo, Brazil (1998); SITE Santa Fe, NM (1999); and the First Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, England (1999).
Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1995); The Museum of Fine Arts of...Buenos Aires, Argentina (1996); The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (1997); The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY (1998); Kunstforeningen Copenhagen, Denmark (1999); Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Aalborg, Germany (1999); and the National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2000).
Merging the traditions of sculpture and drawing, Rivane Neuenschwander’s work combines precise handicraft with natural and found sources. The results are discrete objects and temporary, material-based installations.
Rivane Neuenschwander has developed a unique practice within the vein of Brazilian conceptualism to investigate the role of chance, control and collaboration. Incorporating influences from Brazil's rich history of art movements over the past fifty years, Neuenschwander has become widely regarded for her ephemeral, engaging work that explores narratives about language, nature, geography, the passing of time and social interactions. To do so, the artist frequently employs external forces – both people and natural processes – to produce a series of dynamic, autonomous results. At times her works are interactive, involving viewers in spontaneous and participatory actions, while at others they are the direct results of empirical processes or experiments. All, however, work to expand the collective consciousness by emphasizing certain phenomena that are often overlooked, yet when finally seen, surprisingly remarkable.