Joaquim Tenreiro, Brazil, 1961

Bar with wooden frame and front decorated with hand-painted ceramic tiles by Regina Bolonha, top made of glass painted yellow on the underside. Designed by Joaquim Tenreiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, c. 1961, for a private commission.

The bar's most prominent feature is its ceramic front, which architects in Brazil had adopted during that period as a link between past and present. Indeed, both colonial and modernist architecture in Rio and Brasilia-under construction at that time-often featured azulejos (Portuguese blue and white ceramic tilework), which Tenreiro surely remembered from his childhood in Portugal. The combination of ceramic and wood also speaks to this connection between past and present, updated by the surprising use of yellow glass that reveals itself as you get closer to the work. Another clear nod to architecture is the bar's bold length, a daring surface going 86.5" (2.20 m) with no intermediate support. The size of this work, in fact, moves the bar into the architectonic scale, serving as a room divider as well as a centerpiece.

86.5" L x 18" W x 34.5" H

SU623