Joana P. R. Neves was born in Lisbon, Portugal, where she lived until moving to Paris at the age of 18 in order to study philosophy at Nanterre University. Three years later she went back to Lisbon where she completed her Masters in Curatorial Studies. in 2003, she moved to Paris to work as co-director of the Chantal Crousel gallery after working at CAV in Coimbra as a video curator. She is now a London-based writer and independent curator.
She recently completed her PhD in Art History at Kingston University - Kingston School of Art, funded by Techne. Her PhD research focuses on the line and the trace emerging from scientific imagery of the nineteenth century and re-emerging in conceptual art's visual strategies. She developed her thesis while working as Art Director of Drawing Now Art Fair in Paris. A long-time contributor to the French magazine Roven, which is dedicated to drawing, her research has led her to drawing or stemmed from it, with a focus on the indexical line as techno-thinking.
This interest on drawing and the contemporary line has led her to be co-founder of the curatorial group dedicated to contemporary drawing Roven Platform with Johana Carrier, Marine Pagès and Diogo Pimentão, for which she has co-curated thematic and choreographed soirées and group exhibitions around the medium of drawing, such as Rituals, Repetitions, Constraints, Temptations at mrac Sérignan in 2015. This was also the case of the exhibition, co-curated with Johana Carrier, La Méthode Graphique et Autres Lignes at the centre d'art de Gennevilliers in 2010 with artists Helena Almeida, Davide Balula, Silvia Bächli amongst others, and to work extensively on the lifework of Irma Blank, which led to her first touring exhibition, also co-curated with Johana Carrier, BLANK, with a catalogue representing all the stages of Blank's work published by Koenig Books (Culturgest - Lisbon 2019, MAMCO - Geneva 2019, CAPC - Bordeaux 2020, CCA - Tel Aviv 2020, ICA - Milan (date TBC), Museo Villa Dei Cedri (2021), Bombas Gens Centre d'Art (2021).
Her interest in abstraction has led her to work with the French painter Karina Bisch in a series of interviews published in her catalogue Elle Peint in 2017, to interview the artist Rebecca Salter on the occasion of her first edition of DNAF, as well as to develop an interest in asemantic writing about which she wrote for the catalogue of the exhibition Scrivere Disegnando at the Centre d'art contemporain de Genève in 2020.
Joana P. R. Neves has worked as a director in commercial galleries (Galerie Chantal Crousel (2003-05), schleicher+lange (2007-09) in Paris and Marlborough Contemporary (2012-13) in London. She has curated several group shows, amongst which Morel’s Island at the Centre Photographique de Pontault-Combault and The Lynx Knows no Boundaries at the Ricard Foundation in Paris in 2015. She also organised solo shows for artists such as Gyan Panchal (2006), Evariste Richer (2007) Reto Pulfer (co-curated with Roven Platform) and Catarina Dias (both in 2015) and, recently, Irma Blank.
Her curating work is often collaborative, each project pertaining to one of her lines of research. Recently, she curated an exhibition at Galeria Alberta Pane in Venice, titled Mr. X. about a fictional mixed-race character born in the old colonies of Portugal 500 years ago and miraculously still alive, and who became an art collector. The exhibition was the celebration of his 500th birthday. This was a way to tackle the history of her country, an old potent imperalist nation with a troubled past and a present that can only be considered its shockwave.