Sergio Rodrigues, Brazil, 1978
The Mesa Parker dining suite commission was designed in 1978 by Sergio Rodrigues for the Parker family in Rio de Janeiro. The meticulous construction in woodworking is demonstrated to a substantial degree in the complex interlocking elements that comprise the underside support of the table. Rodrigues’s thoughtful attention to detail in the design additionally shows how the beauty of the object can be seen not only in the construction, material, and finish but also in its effect as a compelling focal point of everyday life. Tellingly, the Mesa Parker commission remained one of Rodrigues’s favorite designs throughout his prolific career....
"Mesa Parker" dining table in solid pine with brasss detailing, and set of ten chairs in solid pine and cane. Custom commission for a home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Sergio Rodrigues, Brazil, 1961
Sergio Rodrigues came up with the design for the Sheriff Chair after his friend, photographer Otto Stupakoff, asked for a couch where he could rest and feel “like a sultan.” The seat’s sturdiness opposes the toothpick feet that characterized design at that point, while the relaxing posture anticipates the casual attitudes of the 1960s. In 1961, Rodrigues submitted the design with small modifications to the international furniture competition of Cantu, Italy, under the name of Sheriff, and won first prize in the wood category. The jury considered the Sheriff to be “the only model with current characteristics, despite the conventional treatment of the frame, uninfluenced by fads and absolutely representative of its region of origin.” This example was specially handmade circa 1999 for the cover of the monograph “Sergio Rodrigues,” edited by Soraia Cals (2000)....
"Poltrona Sheriff" lounge chair with solid wood frame and light brown leather upholstery. This example handmade circa 1999 for Soraia Cals and featured on the cover of the monograph "Sergio Rodrigues," edited by Soraia Cals (2000).
Jose Zanine Caldas, Brazil, 1963-7
From the 1960s onwards, Jose Zanine Caldas incorporated scraps from deforestation to create what he called “Protest Furniture.” For his iconic masterwork, the “Namoradeira,” or “Tete-a-Tete,” Zanine uses a large section of a felled tree to translate the nineteenth-century French form into the twentieth-century Brazilian design lexicon. Though Zanine carved the “dating chair” from a massive log, the rounded base allows the users to rock back and forth, reinforcing the light, social function of the piece....
"Namoradeira" tête-à-tête lounge chair. Designed and made by José Zanine Caldas, Brazil, circa 1963-67.
Martin Eisler, Brazil, c. 1950
Dining table in caviona wood with cane and glass top. First produced in Argentina, then Brazil, by Forma....
Martin Eisler designed this exquisite dining table for Forma in the 1950s. His inspirations for the piece reflect how the architect and designer managed to merge European and Brazilian references to create something unique. The sleek wood structure reflects both a mastery of craftsmanship and international design trends. At the same time, the cane top was inspired by vernacular cane ceiling linings seen in Latin-American rural architecture.
Joaquim Tenreiro, Brazil, circa 1958
Six-sided table with new yellow underpainted glass top, ebonized rosewood frame and black iron legs. Original glass is white, new glass is yellow....
This unusual table was created by Joaquim Tenreiro for a Rio apartment in 1958. The designer made few of these, and each had a unique geometry. Tenreiro furnished houses designed by Oscar Niemeyer, Lucio Costa, Sérgio Bernardes, Francisco Bolonha, and others, which put him in direct dialogue with these modern architects and complemented what MoMA called "some of the finest modern architecture not only in this Hemisphere but in the world."