Ornela Vorpsi was born in Tirana, Albania in 1968. She first studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana, during a period of great changes (1987-1991). In 1991 she moved to Italy and continued her studies at Milan’s Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (1996); finally completing her studies in Paris at Paris VIII University in 1997.
From early 1990s she has taken part in many group exhibitions curated by well know curators such as Harald Szeemann, Paul Ardenne and Walter Keller. Ornela Vorpsi’s artworks are held in important collections including FNAC (Fondation National d’Art Contemporain de France) and in many private collections. In 2006 she was a Lauréate of Deutsche Akademischer Austauschdienst (Daad), Berlin, and in 2004 she was an Artist in Residence at the Villa Kujoyama, Kyoto, Japan.
Once she settled in Paris in 1997, Vorpsi devoted herself not only to the visual arts but also to writing. Vorpsi’s first book is a photo monograph titled ‘Nothing Obvious’ published by Swiss publisher Scalo. Her books ‘Il paese dove muore non si mai’, ‘Bevete cacao Van Houten!’, ‘La mano che non Mordi’, ‘Fuorimondo’, ‘Vetri Rosa’ are all written in Italian and published by Italian publisher Einaudi.
In 2010, Aleksandar Hemon and Zadie Smith named her as one of the 35 best writers of Europe in Best European Fiction (Dalkey Archive Press). Vorpsi has won many prizes for her books such as: Pozzale Luigi Rosso (2012), Città di Tropea (2007), Grinzane Cavour (2006), Elio Vittorini (2006), Premio Rappallo, Premio Viareggio (2006), Premio Luco Mastronardi, Prix Méditeranéen des Lycéen (2005). After many years in France, Vorpsi decided to write in French. Her latest books ‘Tu convoiteras’ and ‘L’été d’Olta’ are being published by the French publishing house Gallimard.
Vorpsi’s books have been translated into 18 languages.
Selected Group Exhibitions
VIDEO FOREVER 35 *IN THE SCREENING ROOM OF MY SLEEPING BRAIN* Point Contemporain, Paris, France.
– AMI & friends, Analix Forever Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland
– Girls, Analix Forever Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland
– 15th Architecture Venice Biennale, I left you the mountain, Albanian official pavilion. Contributing artist.
– Angelica’s book, Analix Forever Gallery, Geneva.
– Beautiful Penis, Analix Forever Gallery, Nuke Gallery, Paris.
– Carte Blanche, Analix Forever Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland
– Portrait (s), exhibition of photographic works and paintings of the National Center of Plastic Arts at La Motte Servolex – Chambéry Aix les Bains, France.
– Painting, still, Analix Forever Gallery, Geneva, for Art Brussels 2010, Brussels
– Fiesta! Analix Forever, Geneva
– Paintings, among others, Analix Forever, Geneva
– Vetri Rosa with Mat Collishaw, Art Curial, Paris
– November trees and other dreams, group show, Analix Forever gallery, Geneva
– Vetri Rosa, with Mat Collishaw and Philippe Cramer, Analix Forever Gallery and Cramer + Cramer, Geneva, Take 5 edition
– Girls, girls, girls, Neuchâtel Art Center
– The Balkans, a crossroad to the future, curator Harald Szemann
– Blood & Honey, Samlung Essl, Vienna, Austria. Curator Harald Szemann
– Onufri ‘03, National Gallery, Tirana, Albania
– Paris-Photo, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, Gallery 213, Paris
– Interior Policy, Gallery 213, Paris
– 1st Biennale di Tirana, National Gallery, Tirana
– Paris-Photo, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris Art Fair 31, B, the Scalo Gallery, Zurich
– Art Fair 30, B, the Scalo Gallery, Zurich
– Onufri ‘98, National Gallery, Tirana
– Biennale of European Artists, Cetinje, Montenegro
– June Trailers, Atlantic Area, Milan
Video exhibition, Internazionale Brera, Milan
– Storm Al Plastic, Milan
– Quali Differenze, Nuova Arcadia Galleria, Milan
– Preview, Brera, Milan
– Salon 1, Galleria Casoli, Milan
– Kunsterkollegiums, Tübingen, Germany
– Aula 39, Brera, Milan
– Pranverë ‘93, National Gallery, Tirana
– Pranverë ‘90, National Gallery, Tirana
– Pranverë ‘88, Pranvere National Gallery, Tirana.