Tenreiro’s Cadeira de Três Pés


“A feat of craftsmanship in wood, this three-legged chair by Joaquim Tenreiro bears the hallmarks of his modernist approach to form, and strict principles of material selection that employed only the highest quality of Brazilian hardwoods.” explains R & Company’s Director of Archives and Publications Michelle Jackson-Beckett, “The model was constructed in variants with two, three, four, and five types of wood. Tenreiro constructed the present example with the most difficult technical level by using five different hardwoods. This incredible technique required a deep knowledge of craftsmanship as well as an intimacy with the way different woods behave under different environmental and technical circumstances.”

“The Cadeira de Três Pés, from 1947, may be the best example of Tenreiro’s dedication to craftsmanship.” says R & Company’s Research and Editorial Assistant Mina Warchavchik Hugerth, “The first version, in two woods, was part of the theater set for a play by Silveira Sampaio titled, “Da Necessidade de Ser Polígamo” (“On the Necessity of Being Polygamous”) staged in 1949. In 1961, it was shown at the Modern Art Salon in Rio de Janeiro. As Mário Pedrosa proclaimed in a November 25, 1961 issue of Jornal do Brasil, ‘Tenreiro’s chair is spectacular, and the craftsmanship is perfect, the form is beautiful, that you don’t feel like sitting in it, so you can stand back and admire it.’”