R & Company announces their first exhibition of historical designs by Brazilian icon Jose Zanine. These rare and one-of-a-kind works represent some of the most innovative sculptural forms and extraordinary use of tropical woods of the 20th century. Many of these works have never been exhibited before and will premiere at R & Company for the first time ever. Jose Zanine opens to the public with a reception on May 2, from 6-8 pm.
Jose Zanine began his furniture design career in 1948 with the company Móveis Artisticos Z, which he ran with three business partners. Their elegantly simple, organically-shaped pieces in plywood were produced at a price point that made them accessible to the emerging market of collectors with an eye toward a modern style. Their designs were among the first in Brazil to utilize the new techniques for molded and bent plywood that were also being used by revered international designers such as Charles and Ray Eames in the United States and, in Europe, by Alvar Aalto.
In the early 1950s, Zanine left the company and returned to his home state of Bahia. Heavily inspired by the local craftsmen there who carved boats and furniture from felled trees, Zanine began experimenting with chiseling and carving large, sculptural works, which became the focus of his later career. He also set himself apart with his pavilion-type architectural constructions in richly- colored hewn logs. Zanine was a devoted steward of the forest and proponent of environmental protection. He wrote extensively about his philosophical and emotional connection to the forest and tried, whenever possible, to either use already felled trees or to plant a tree for each one he used.
Internationally recognized as one of the giants of Brazilian design and architecture, Zanine is heavily featured in the recently released, comprehensive overview Brazil Modern: The Rediscovery of Twentieth-Century Brazilian Furniture, co-published by R & Company and The Monacelli Press. As author Aric Chen notes in his text, Zanine, renowned as a charismatic eccentric with a penchant for exotic pets, was also so beloved and respected by his architecture and design contemporaries that, "when he was once denounced in Brasilia for building houses without an architect's license, Lucio Costa made a declaration that he would sign off on any Zanine project."
Jose Zanine will be on view from May 2 through June 23, 2016. Concurrently, the first solo exhibition of works by Rogan Gregory will be on view in the downstairs gallery