Leonor Antunes: the frisson of the togetherness




Artist Leonor Antunes gathers references to overlooked figures within twentieth century architecture, art and design, often focusing on women – her practice is concerned both with a certain type of craft, and with the bringing together of styles to define an identity.1 This publication was created to coincide with Antunes’ site-specific commission, the frisson of the togetherness,2 at the Whitechapel Gallery in London 2017–18.

Antunes’ installation was informed by, and incorporated aspects of, the work of two artists who lived in London: Mary Martin and Lucia Nogueira. The multiple layers and references that Antunes explores within the installation were translated into the design of the book: multiple, small-scale loose leaf references to Martin and Nogueira are bound in to the publication. The clear jacket feels like an archive sleeve, whilst the colours and typography through the book are influenced by the art and craft works of Martin. To document Antunes’ previous works, we reproduced the title pages and selected spreads from her prior catalogues at 1:1 scale. The overall feel of the book is, then, quite ephemeral.

  1. “I am interested in the dialogue that a specific craftsmanship establishes within a certain perspective of modernity – particularly how architects and 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.“ – Leonor Antunes, 2017 

  2. The title for the exhibition is taken from Alison Smithson’s description of how young people bring together elements of style to define their identity and social allegiances.