With works by Leonor Antunes, Nancy Holt and Liliane Lijn

21 March 2024 – 25 August 2024

The exhibition Cosmogonie (Cosmogonies) gravitates around the work of Laura Grisi, observing it from a contemporary perspective, also thanks to the juxtaposition with works by artists such as Leonor Antunes, Nancy Holt and Liliane Lijn


Laura Grisi’s research existed outside the categories and definitions of her time. Though her work reveals affinities with the optical investigations of Kinetic Art, the conforming references to the society of consumption typical of Pop Art, the industrial materials and geometry of American Minimal Art, and the dematerialization of Arte Povera, she shaped an independent position for herself, whose nomadism is now the central focus of a rediscovery, also thanks to a series of recent international exhibitions.

Seven large works by the artist, in various media–sound, painting, video and light installations–offer a new opportunity to enter her reflections on image perception, and her explorations of the tensions between nature and artifice. Her research often takes material form in the creation of installations and immersive technological environments that reproduce atmospheric phenomena, allowing the artist to grasp nature as a “mental and technologized fact”, while conserving an intimate spiritual energy. 


In the attempt to redefine space and its image, the artist makes use of materials like steel, glass and above all neon, which permits malleability in terms of shapes and colours close to painting, creating illusions of depth and layers of perception. The technological immersive installations and environments with which she reproduces atmospheric phenomena allow her to grasp nature as a “mental and technological fact”, which nevertheless conserves an intimate spiritual energy. 


The exhibition includes an installation by Leonor Antunes (1972) that assembles horse bridles to create a fluid, suspended presence in the space, focusing on the materials and techniques of craftsmanship, in contrast with the solidity of the surrounding architecture. The show also features a photography by Nancy Holt (1938-2014) portraying the mutable conditions of light and shadow of the installation Sun Tunnels located in desert of Utah across a long summer day, and a sculpture by Liliane Lijn (1939), which stems from her 1980s research on organic forms and the sensations perceived by holding natural materials in the hand, like a wet stone just taken from a riverbed. 



LAURA GRISI (Rhodes, 1939 – Rome, 2017) has lived mainly in Rome and New York. In 1964 she made her debut with her first solo exhibition at Il Segno gallery. In 1965 she participated at the Quadriennale in Rome and held her second solo exhibition at the Galleria dell’Ariete in Milan. In 1966 she took part at the Venice Biennale and quickly gained international accreditation, exhibiting her first cycle of works Variable Paintings and Neon Paintings at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. Married to documentary filmmaker and writer Falco Quilici, she made numerous trips with him to Africa, Asia, the Americas and Oceania, in which Grisi encountered different cultures and began taking photographs in which nature was the protagonist. Wind, light, fog and water are the elements that the artist captures and then tries to reformulate in her works. She has exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions since 1968, including: Galerie E. M. Thelen, Essen and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (1968), Kunsthalle, Bern (1969), Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (1973), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1976), Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf (1978), and Ugo Ferranti, Rome (1979). He participated at the Rome Quadriennale in 1965, 1973 and 1986; the Venice Biennale in 1966, 1986 and 2002. Her works have also been exhibited at the Royal Palace in Naples (1970), Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Turin (1974, 1985, 2018), Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome (1981 and 2013), Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome (2010), Graham Foundation in Chicago in 2014, Accademia di Brera in Milan in 2015, Museum of Contemporary Art in Sao Paulo (2018), and at the Muzeum Susch (2021). Her works are in the collections of numerous institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Brooklyn Museum, Weisman Museum in Los Angeles, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna in Turin, and Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome. 


LEONOR ANTUNES (Lisbon, 1972) lives and works in Berlin. Her practice provides a unique contemplation on modern art, architecture and design through a reinterpretation of sculpture in a given space. Inspired by important figures in the realm of creation in the 20th century, and often influenced by female protagonists, her work begins by measuring features of architecture and design that interest her. She then uses these measurements as units which can be translated into sculpture.Embracing traditional craftsmanship from around the world, she employs materials such as rope, leather, cork, wood, brass, and rubber to create unusual forms. Recent solo exhibitions have been shown at Serralves Foundation, Portugal (2022); MUDAM, Luxembourg (2020); MASP, São Paulo Museum of Art, Brazil (2019); Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico (2018); Hangar Bicocca, Milan, Italy (2018);  Whitechapel Gallery, London (2017); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California (2016); CAPC Bordeaux, France (2015); New Museum, New York (2015); Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2013); and the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain, (2011). Antunes represented the Portuguese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Italy in 2019 and has participated in the 58th and 57th Venice Biennale (2019 and 2017); the 12th Sharjah Biennial, UAE (2015); and the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014). 


NANCY HOLT (Worcester, 1938 – New York, 2014) was a member of the land and conceptual art movements. An innovator of site-specific installation and the moving image, Holt recalibrated the limits of art. She expanded the places where art could be found and embraced the new media of her time. Across five decades she asked questions about how we might understand our place in the world, investigating perception, systems, and place. Holt’s rich artistic output spans concrete poetry, audioworks, film and video, photography, slideworks, ephemeral gestures, drawings, room-sized installations, artists’ books, and public sculpture commissions. She produced site-specific environmental works in numerous public places around the world, including Sun Tunnels (1976), a large-scale sculptural work in Great Basin Desert, Utah; Stone Enclosure (Rock Rings) in Bellingham, Washington; Astral Grating (1987) in a New York City subway station, and Dark Star Park, in Arlington, Virginia, among many others. She also completed large-scale land reclamation projects, including Sky Mound (1988) in the New Jersey Meadowlands, and Up and Under (1998), in Nokia, Finland. Holt’s works, including her films and videos, have been seen in exhibitions at the John Weber Gallery, New York; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Dia Center for the Arts, New York, and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York.


LILIANE LIJN’s work (New York, 1939) covers a large spectrum of interests, from Light and its interaction with diverse new materials to the development of a fresh image for the feminine. Lijn has taken inspiration from incidental details both man-made and natural, mythology and poetry, science and technology. Lijn is interested in the development of language, collaborating across disciplines and making art that is interactive, in which the viewer can actively participate. Recent solo exhibitions: Ordet, Milan (2020); Rodeo, London – Piraeus (2018); Summerhall, Edinburgh (2017); Anglia Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Middlesbrough (2012); Austin Desmond Fine Art, London (2006); National Library of New Zealand (1998); The Eagle Gallery, London (1996); Victoria & Albert Museum, London (1993); Serpentine Gallery, London (1976); Germain Gallery, Paris (1972); Indica Gallery, London (1967); La Librairie Anglaise, Paris (1963). 


Curator: Luca Lo Pinto 
Curatorial Coordinator: Matteo Binci 
Production Coordinator: Lorena Stamo 
Production Assistant: Livia Danese
Art Handlers:  Fabio Pennacchia, Matteo Pompili 

Heartfelt thanks to P420.

The exhibition is promoted by Assessorato alla Cultura di Roma Capitale and Azienda Speciale Palaexpo. 



On the same day as the opening, the Istituto Svizzero presents the exhibition On Love between 6 and 8 pm. Located at via Ludovisi 48, Istituto Svizzero is a 15-minute walk from MACRO. An excellent opportunity to visit the two venues on the same evening.