The Pavilion of Portugal at the Art Biennale of Venice, Italy, which has an exhibition by the artist Leonor Antunes, surpassed the 7,200 visitors, at the end of the first month of the show, announced today the General Direction of the Arts (DGAR).
Located in the Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, home of the Ugo Foundation and Olga Levi, the official Portuguese representation, selected by a competition by DGArtes, consists of the project “a seam, a surface, a hinge or a knot” a hinge or a knot “) by Leonor Antunes, designed for that place, curated by João Ribas, former artistic director of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art.
In today’s press release, DGArtes highlights the “significant number of visitors” and the praise of the international press to the project of the Portuguese artist.
Among other publications, The Art Newspaper placed the exhibition of Leonor Antunes among the 10 not to be missed at the Biennial and the Art Forum wrote about “the greatness” of the Portuguese representation.
The 58th International Art Exhibition – “La Biennale di Venezia” – opened to the public on 11 May. Leonor Antunes’s project involves the history of art, architecture, and design, and reflects on the functions of everyday objects, contemplating their potential, to materialize as abstract sculptures.
On the eve of the inauguration of the Portuguese representation, on May 8, Leonor Antunes said that this exhibition is “like a second skin” for you.
“This exhibition is important because I discovered new things in my work, I learned new things,” said the 47-year-old artist who had already exhibited in Venice in 2017 at the invitation of the show’s own organization.
Leonor Antunes’ project was the result of research carried out several years ago on the work of important figures in the context of Venice architecture, namely Carlo Scarpa, Franco Albini, and Franca Helg, and more recently the architects Savina Masieri and Egle Trinanate.
“These are people who fascinated me and whose work inspired me,” he said.
About Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, the artist described it as “a difficult place to work because, being a historical heritage, it is not possible to touch the walls or the floor of the building, and the project is totally site-specific” (designed for this space, in itself).
The sculpture works, which occupy three rooms of the building, were made in carpentry workshops in Berlin, Venice, and Lisbon, in materials such as metal, cork, leather, and glass.
“I was able to establish a dialogue between my work, this building, and the city, and I avoided the impossibility of suspending the pieces with the creation of vertical sculptures,” the artist described.
After Venice, Leonor Antunes, who won the Zurich Art Prize 2019, will exhibit a new project in this Swiss city at the Museum Haus Konstruktiv from 31 October to 12 January 2020.
The 58th International Art Exhibition will be open to the public until November 24, curated by the British Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery in London, and has the theme “Interesting Times”.