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."
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.
Sergio Rodrigues, Brazil, 1960s
Round game table in jacaranda with reversible green felt top....
Sergio Rodrigues, the youngest of the designers highlighted here, melded together rationalist principles with large doses of humor and craft. He understood geometry like few others and was often ahead of his time.
Sergio Rodrigues, Brazil, 1956
"Oscar Niemeyer" chair in imbuia wood with cane seat and back. Designed by Sergio Rodrigues, Brazil, circa 1956....
Rodrigues was connected to other avant-garde designers and architects of Brazil and was even involved in furnishing some of the buildings of Brasília (founded in 1960). The Oscar chair was designed in honor of the new capital's architect, fellow carioca Oscar Niemeyer. Its lines echo the iconic columns of the Alvorada Palace, the official residence of the President of Brazil.
Joaquim Tenreiro, Brazil, 1950s
Bar in painted wood with formica top and two barstools with upholstered cushions and wrought iron frames. Designed by Joaquim Tenreiro, Brazil, early 1950s....
In addition to his mastery of hardwoods, Tenreiro also experimented with other materials, as in this bar with a Formica top (which began to be produced in Brazil in 1950), that he paired with wrought iron stools. These pieces were one-offs made for private commissions for the carioca population, as the people from Rio are called.
Sergio Rodrigues, Brazil, 1990s
Sergio Rodrigues's career spanned six decades, and he always kept the spirit of Rio in his work. While this lounge chair is from the 1990s, the idea of relaxation and leisure carries the optimism of the 1950s. Rodrigues's own store Oca had closed in 1968, but the architect and designer continued building partnerships with different woodshops to produce his creations....