Leonor Antunes: The Frisson of the Togetherness
Oct 3, 2017 – Apr 9, 2018

Leonor Antunes

Whitechapel Gallery’s new site-specific commission by Portuguese artist Leonor Antunes (b.1972, Lisbon) is the artist’s first solo exhibition in a public gallery in the UK. Straight lines and flat planes morph into looping and twisting volumes and sculptural reliefs; Weavings, geometric patterns, artisanal techniques and utilitarian designs are sources of inspiration.

 

Leonor Antunes

Leonor Antunes

Leonor Antunes

Taking its title from British architect Alison Smithson’s description of how young people bring together elements of style to define their identity and social allegiances, Antunes gathers references to overlooked figures in the history of 20th-century architecture, art and design, particularly women. Her commission has been informed by two artists who lived in London — Mary Martin (1907–69, UK) and Lucia Nogueira (1950–98, Brazil). While both were known for their sculpture, Martin also created works on paper and weavings and Nogueira made jewelry.

 

Leonor Antunes

Leonor Antunes

Leonor Antunes says “I am interested in the dialogue that a specific craftsmanship establishes within a certain perspective of modernity — particularly how architects/designers engaged with the vernacular — revealing not a nostalgia for a world before modernism, but rather a legacy regarding a belief in the artwork as representing an ongoing engagement in a process.”

Antunes’s commission features hanging and floor-based sculptures made from materials including metal, leather and rope, illuminated by lights designed by the artist. The sculptures serve as screens or dividers, creating layers and shaping the viewer’s journey through the space. The gallery floor is covered in a geometric pattern, based on a drawing by Martin and made of cork and linoleum. Antunes has also selected examples of jewelry by Brazilian artist Nogueira, which are displayed in sculptural glass display cases by Danish designer Nanna Ditzel (1923–2005).

 

Leonor Antunes: The Frisson of the Togetherness
October 3, 2017 – April 9, 2018 / Whitechapel Gallery
Please visit the exhibition page >

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