Taking its title from British architect Alison Smithson's description of how young people bring together elements of style to define their identity and social allegiances, sculptor Leonor Antunes (b. 1972, Portugal) new commission at the Whitechapel Gallery gathers references to overlooked figures in the history of twentieth century architecture, art and design, in particular two women artists who lived in London: Mary Martin (1907-69, UK) and Lucia Nogueira (1950-98, Brazil), both known for their sculpture, but also works on paper and weavings, and jewellery respectively. Antunes's commission features hanging and floorbased sculptures woven from materials including metal, leather and rope, morphing into looping and twisting volumes and illuminated by lights designed by the artist.
Focussing on artisanal techniques, the gallery floor is covered in a geometric pattern made of cork and linoleum based on a drawing by Mary Martin, while examples of Nogueira's jewellery are displayed in sculptural glass display cases by Danish designer Nanna Ditzel (1923-2005). This elegantly-designed accompanying catalogue includes complete photography of the commission as well an essay on the work by curator Lydia Yee and new critical writing by Habda Rashid and Douglas Fogle