Portuguese artist Leonor Antunes (b.1972, Lisbon) is the subject of an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London running until 8 April 2018. It is the artist’s first solo exhibition in a public gallery in the UK.
In her work, the artist uses geometric forms, weavings, utilitarian tools as inspiration for her site-specific installations which respond to the architectural and historical environments in which they are presented. This time, a new commission has been inspired by two artists who lived in London Mary Martin (1907–69, UK) and Lucia Nogueira (1950–98, Brazil). Antunes has spent a few months researching into both artists and their oeuvres. Although both artists were famous for their sculpture work, Martin also made works on paper and weavings and Nogueira made jewellery.
The commission of the Whitechapel Gallery is made of materials including metal, leather and rope which hang and fill the space in a very poetic way. The gallery floor is covered by an enlarged geometric pattern based on a drawing by Martin, and is made of cork and linoleum. Taking the form of open grids, the sculptures serve as screens or dividers, creating layers and influencing the viewer’s experience of the space.