For the past twenty years, R & Company has been committed to telling the remarkable story of Brazilian design. Through our publications and exhibitions programs, R & Company continues to ensure the legacy of the designers that built a uniquely Brazilian, yet globally engaging aesthetic throughout the twentieth century. Brazil’s vastness and the multiplicity of talented voices creating remarkable works since the midcentury could have made it a powerhouse in the international market, but political conditions kept most designs hidden inside its borders well into the 1990s. We now work with designers, estates, and partners in Brazil to bring an incredible trove of works to our clients around the world.
The postwar waves of immigration in Brazil were as influential as they were in North America, which created a unique melting pot between European ideas and the country’s own version of modern living alongside indigenous and colonial traditions. At the same time, the lack of advanced industrial facilities meant that even designers who followed the principles of modernism often produced pieces in small workshops and relied on artisanal know-how. As scholar Zeuler R. Lima states in the book Brazil Modern, these works offer a view of how designers can react to specific technical and social conditions above personal aspirations. Perhaps most importantly, how “beyond appealing to just the eyes, furniture can simultaneously accommodate the human body and respond to the place and the environment that make it possible.”
Joaquim Tenreiro was a trained craftsman and incorporated both classical and colonial styles to develop his particular take on modernism. Sergio Rodrigues played with form and proportion to create the first works to be internationally recognized for their “Brazilianess.” Jose Zanine Caldas used ancient building techniques and modern architecture to make some of the earliest ecologically conscious furniture in the world. Martin Eisler merged his European upbringing with pop and vernacular references. Oscar Niemeyer looked at history and nature to create his trademark organic lines. Join us as we explore the uniquely Brazilian take on the mid-century aesthetic through the works of these masters.