31 October 2019 and 12 January 2020
curated by Sabine Schaschl
The Zurich Art Prize, awarded annually by Museum Haus Konstruktiv and Zurich Insurance Group Ltd, goes in 2019 to Leonor Antunes (b. 1972 in Lisbon, lives and works in Berlin). This Portuguese artist is the twelfth winner of the internationally renowned award. The prize is endowed with CHF 100,000, of which CHF 20,000 go to the respective winner and the other CHF 80,000 are used for the production of their solo exhibition at Museum Haus Konstruktiv.
In particular, Antunes enthused the Zurich Art Prize jury with her sensorial precise pieces, in which she explicitly refers back to the works and ideas of well-known 20th-century cultural workers from the fields of architecture, design and art.
Leonor Antunes conceives her sculptural works on the basis of research into objects from the history of modernist architecture and design, whereby she is just as interested in the historical objects’ materiality and manner of production, as she is in their former sociopolitical significance. From architectures and pieces of furniture, she borrows forms and motifs, removes these from their original context and combines them as duplicates, enlargements or reductions, to make new sculptural works and environments. Antunes pays special attention to the place where she presents her works. The space’s architectural and historical givens write themselves into the history of the exhibited objects, much like how these, conversely, recharge the space. Presentation of preexisting works in new environments and combinations is part of Antunes’s artistic practice. ”I really like the idea of installing previous / existing works in different settings. Each show is a new challenge in that sense, and the sculptures are generous enough to be absorbed by the different situations and contexts.”
At Museum Haus Konstruktiv, this artist presents pieces that belong to two groups of works from 2017 and 2018. In both series, she primarily addresses female figures like Clara Porset, Charlotte Perriand or Franca Helg who were long neglected by art history and architectural history.