New Work

Leonor Antunes

May 14–October 2, 2016


Leonor Antunes (Portuguese, born 1972) creates sculptures that conflate physical, measurable experience with the effects of memory and time. Layered with historical and material references, her installations extract details and components from work by artists, architects, and designers associated with modernism. For this exhibition, the artist’s first solo museum presentation on the West Coast, Antunes intertwines research into an unrealized residential commission in San Francisco by architect and designer Greta Magnusson Grossman, measurements from existing Grossman homes in Los Angeles and Sweden, and the woven work of Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, and Kay Sekimachi. Antunes’s site-specific installation inaugurates a new gallery dedicated to SFMOMA’s New Work series.

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Exhibition Preview

Leonor Antunes, I stand before you like a mirror (installation view), 2015; New Museum, New York; © Leonor Antunes; photo by Maris Hutchinson

Leonor Antunes, a secluded and pleasant land. in this land I wish to dwell (installation view), 2014; 8th Berlin Biennial, KW_Berlin; © Leonor Antunes; photo: Nick Ash

Leonor Antunes, the pliable plane (installation view), 2015; CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux; © Leonor Antunes; photo: Nick Ash


Portuguese artist Leonor Antunes discusses the inspiration behind her commissioned exhibition at SFMOMA, a group of sculptures called a spiral staircase leads down to the garden (2016). She reflects on how her research into preceding female artists, designers, and architects has influenced her work.

Related ideas:
Julia Margaret Cameron objects to a male-dictated rule: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WihqL0NImqc
Will Rogan preserves the memory of artists: https://youtu.be/NiDTk-wSc3k

Generous support for New Work: Leonor Antunes is provided by Robin Wright and Ian Reeves. Additional support is provided by Alka and Ravin Agrawal and Adriane Iann and Christian Stolz.