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Leonor Antunes participates in Palazzo Giustinian Lolin in Venice with her exhibition a seam, a surface, a hinge or a knot

kurimanzutto is delighted to felicitate Leonor Antunes with a seam, a surface, a hinge or a knot representing the Portugal Pavilion at the Fundazione Ugo et Olga Levi Onlus, Palazzo Giustinian Lolin. 

Engaging the histories of art, architecture, and design, Leonor Antunes reflects on the functions of everyday objects, contemplating their potential to be materialised as abstract sculptures. Following the artist’s presentation at the Biennale Arte 2017, a seam, a surface, a hinge or a knot continues Antunes’ interest in the work of important figures in the Venetian context, such as Carlo Scarpa, Franco Albini and Franca Helg, and more recently into the legacies of Savina Masieri and Egle Trincanato, who were active in post-war Venice.

Antunes is interested in how craftsmanship traditions from various cultures intersect within this history. The artist links the Japanese concept of Shakkei, for instance, denoting the use of a background landscape in the design of a garden, to other vernacular traditions and forms of craftsmanship from Italy and Portugal. In keeping with an interest in knowledge embedded in craft, and its technical as well as cultural memory, elements of the exhibition are fabricated in collaboration with master carpenters, leather workers, and glassblowers, including Falegnameria Augusto Capovilla, one of the still-active Venetian carpentries who worked closely with Scarpa. Antunes is interested in figures such as Savina Masieri who was responsible for commissioning Frank Lloyd Wright and Carlo Scarpa, and the work of the architect Egle Trincanato, the first female architect to graduate from the Royal Institute of Architecture in Venice. Trincanato was an important figure in the context of Venice, in part due to the variety of her responsibilities in the city, having served as director of Palazzo Ducale and president of Querini Stampalia, as well as publishing on the architecture of the city, her work on exhibition displays, and the architecture of the INAIL (National Institute for Insurance against Workplace Accidents and Professional Illnesses) in Venice. Both Savieri and Trincanato played a pivotal role in shaping a conception of Venice as a “modern” city through exhibition design, building, and historical work. a seam, a surface, a hinge or a knot is presented at the Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, a work of Baldassare Longhena, best known for Ca’ Pesaro, Ca’ Rezzonico, and the Church of Santa Maria della Salute (1631/32-1687). — JOÃO RIBAS