Straight lines and flat planes morph into looping and twisting volumes and sculptural reliefs in the new commission by Leonor Antunes (b. 1972, Portugal). Weavings, geometric patterns, artisanal techniques and utilitarian designs are sources of inspiration.
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 bothwere known for their sculpture, Martin also created works on paper and weavings and Nogueira made jewellery.
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 jewellery by Brazilian artist Nogueira, which are displayed in sculptural glass displaycases by Danish designer Nanna Ditzel (1923–2005).
‘an intriguing installation of hanging ropes and leather straps’ @ribajournal Leonor Antunes’ use of materials and artisanal approach references the historical context of East London known for its leatherwork, and also the rope manufacture that gave nearby Cable Street its name. . Find out more, #LeonorAntunes in conversation with art historian Briony Fer. Thu 7 Dec, 7pm . Installation view at the Whitechapel Gallery. Leonor Antunes: the frisson of the togetherness Gallery 2 3 October 2017 – 8 April 2018 Photo: Nick Ash
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX