Leunora Salihu was born in 1977 in Prishtina, Kosovo, where she studied at the Academy for Fine Arts. In 1999 she fled to Germany, where she moved her studies to the Muthesius Kunsthochschule in Kiel and then further to the Academy in Düsseldorf, from which she graduated in 2009 in the class of Tony Cragg. Since then, she has received several awards and was included in numerous exhibitions. Currently she is preparing an exhibition for the K21 Ständehaus in Düsseldorf, which will open in spring 2017. Another major exhibition will open at the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg, Germany, next autumn.
Thomas Hirsch on the artist: “In her works, Leunora Salihu manages to create complex forms out of a variety of different materials, which evoke a plethora of associations within the viewer, as they seem to be abstract developments in already familiar shapes. In construction, the artist adds serially manufactured modules to objects, which are equally defined by the surface as by the space that surrounds them. Depending on the point of view, Salihus’s bodies of space grant various impressions and perspectives and convey a lively and dynamic sensation in their rhythmic repetition of an array of round and square elements and their occlusive and open components. The artist herself describes her work as a “complex set of industrial, architectural, and organic forms. They formulate the possibilities and limits of suggested movement, of compounds of organic and constructive form-elements and their seeming functionality, as well as transitions between sculpture and pedestal; exterior and interior.” By abstracting and estranging familiar shapes from everyday life, Salihu creates broad fields of associations, yet, all deriving from the same, unique setting. The viewer is not able to categorize them. (...) The artist considers dealing with one’s own body paramount in the development of her structures. Her work has an evident relation to the proportion of the human body. Just as the encounter of someone opposite one’s self, the viewer experiences physical presence toward the sculpture in the room. The viewer relates his own physicality to the structure and, thus, becomes an integral part of the work. Another central issue for Salihu is the nature of the chosen materials. The use of wood, plaster, steel, clay, and plastic also dictate the color palette of her works, for she refrains from applying color. Shape and material affect are put into the foreground.”
Leunora Salihu lives and works in Düsseldorf.