'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery

turning tides: Designing a Modern Brazil exhibition

 

Between March 7 and May 1, 2024, Carpenters Workshop Gallery presents Turning Tides: Designing a Modern Brazil, an exhibition tracing 75 years of Brazilian design. Displaying masterpieces from the 1940s up until the present day, the works on show reveal the varying visions and influences that went on to inform the framework for modern Brazilian life. After the Second World War, the country experienced rapid economic growth and industrialization. Not only was there an unavoidable sense of hope and prosperity prevailing in the country, but it also hosted the World Cup games, and welcomed the arrival of new materials and technologies. This infused Brazilian design, architecture and the home structure with the aesthetic vibrancy of modernism, particularly in cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. In the 60s, President Juscelino Kubitschek transferred the capital from Rio de Janeiro to Brasília to promote its growth through its development policy and motto: 50 years in 5.  A flourishing dynamic between furniture, art, and the landscape started to bloom.

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery
Turning Tides – Designing a Modern Brazil | image © Matt Harrington, courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery

 

 

Carpenters Workshop Gallery honors Brazilian titans

 

Turning Tides at Carpenters Workshop Gallery (more here) honors a diverse cadre of Brazilian artists who navigated and shaped their creations in the crucible of Brazil’s culturally rich history, reflecting significant social, cultural, and political changes that influenced various aspects of society, including art and design. The included works feature design titans like Joaquim Tenreiro and Sergio Rodrigues, plus a roster of contemporary artists influenced by this pivotal period. This includes The Campana Brothers, a São Paulo-based studio founded by brothers Fernando and Huberto Campana, whose work is deeply rooted in Brazilian culture and traditions, igniting their pieces with an abundance of color, textures, and creative chaos. Art advisor Maria Cecilia Loschiavo shares: ‘Turning Tides presents the fabric for modern living in Brazil. The public will see the various trends, the avant-garde and the diversity of materials used, but also the sovereign presence of wood, which establishes the designers’ link with vernacular culture and the beginnings of Brazilian furniture.

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery
image © Matt Harrington

 

 

In Brazil, visionary expression flourished. Notably, it was on the beaches of Rio De Janeiro that Bossa Nova found its origins, and groundbreaking abstract art took root. Architects like Oscar Niemeyer – known for his avant-garde designs characterized by sweeping curves, reinforced concrete structures, and natural elements – and designers such as Joaquim Tenreiro, Lina Bo Bardi, Jose Zanine Caldas, Jorge Zalszupin, and Sergio Rodrigues infused a modernist feel into homes, offices, and public spaces. Their innovative approaches helped define Brazilian modernism and contributed to the creation of a distinctive Latin American design vocabulary.

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery
image © Matt Harrington

 

 

The exhibited works include Joaquim Tenreiro’s Coffee Table (1950), made using Vinhático, a native Brazilian wood. Through geometric circles, understated structure and application of native materials, the piece illustrates Tenreiro’s crucial role in introducing modernist principles to Brazilian furniture design, standing as a tribute to Latin America’s local wood and craftsmanship. Lina Bo Bardi, an Italian-born architect and designer, is exhibiting her Writing Desk (1950). Crafted from caviuna wood and displaying a playful silhouette with ‘Z’-shaped legs, the piece exemplifies her pioneering contribution to Brazilian modernism, breaking gender barriers for women in a time and field mostly reserved for men. Jorge Zalszupin, an architect and designer born and raised in Poland, immigrated to Brazil in 1946. The Manhattan Lounge Set (1960) features a collection of delicately sculptural pieces that fuse European influences with local Brazilian aesthetics into an energetic, geometric silhouette, attesting to his unique modernist vocabulary.

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery
H/E armchair

 

 

During this transformative period, Brazil revealed unparalleled creativity and cultural dynamism. Against a backdrop of political and social changes, the country experienced a seismic cultural shift that would eventually influence global design. As the epicenter of this cultural renaissance, Brazil became a melting pot for artists, designers, and thinkers, fostering an environment where experimentation and innovation thrived. This era laid the foundation for the emergence of Brazilian design as a global force with which to be reckoned.

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery
image © Matt Harrington

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery
Jose Zanine Caldas, Namoradeira chairs

turning-tides-designboom-full-2

Joaquim Tenreiro Coffee Table | image © Matt Harrington

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery
image © Matt Harrington

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery
Oscar Niemeyer Side Tables | image © Matt Harrington

turning-tides-designboom-full-5

Jorge Zalszupin set

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery
image © Matt Harrington

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery
Carlo Hauner & Martin Eisler, Costela Lounge Set

turning-tides-designboom-full-8

Joaquim Tenreiro bench

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery
image © Matt Harrington

'turning tides' traces 75 years of brazilian design at carpenters workshop gallery
Jose Zanine Caldas, Denuncia Dining Bench

turning-tides-designboom-full-9

Carlo Hauner Armchair

 

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JT Desk
JT Desk
Scipanelli Coffee Table | image © Matt Harrington
Scipanelli Coffee Table | image © Matt Harrington
1
 
Jorge Zalszupin Coffee Table Romana
Jorge Zalszupin Coffee Table Romana
image © Matt Harrington
image © Matt Harrington
image © Matt Harrington
image © Matt Harrington
Sergio Rodrigues Stools
Sergio Rodrigues Stools

project info:

 

name: Turning Tides: Designing a Modern Brazil

location: Capenters Workshop Gallery (here) | @carpentersworkshopgallery

viewing dates: March 7 – May 1, 2024

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