An exhibition of Brazil’s most iconic designers and architects
Opening reception for the designers: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 from 6-9pm
ESPASSO is pleased to announce ETEL for ESPASSO – an exhibition of Brazil’s most iconic designers and architects, brought together for the first time in the US, beginning September 20, 2011. This group show comprises important works by Etel Carmona, Arthur Casas, Dado Castello Branco, Branco & Preto, Claudia Moreira Salles, Lia Siqueira, Isay Weinfeld, and Jorge Zalszupin.
This collection of contemporary pieces, all produced by ETEL, expresses the collective unconscious of luxury and is translated by a diverse group of renowned designers and architects encompassing different aesthetic approaches but shared values about the integrity of Brazilian design. In these timeless pieces, six decades of furniture design are represented, yet they are all unmatched in their quality and functionality, whether new designs like “Veronica” – the first piece of furniture designed by Jorge Zalszupin since the 1960′s – or classic re-editions like the Branco & Preto collection, which was reissued in 2004 after being out of production for nearly 40 years.
“This is a unique opportunity to present the best of Brazilian design, covering the past and present,” said ESPASSO‘s owner and curator Carlos Junqueira, the exclusive representative of these designers in the US. “Never before has a group show with such an elite roster of designers been exhibited outside of Brazil.”
ETEL is Brazil’s most expressive brand of contemporary furniture. Etel Carmona heads her own furnituremaking company, which sets an important standard in the design and manufacturing of furniture in the country.
The company’s guiding philosophy reflects the pioneering spirit of its owner. The preference for certified wood – meaning ecological cutting, the preservation of young trees and sustainable forest management – demonstrates the high ethical standards of this avant-garde designer.
The exhibition also features contemporary works by designers Claudia Moreira Salles, Isay Weinfeld, Lia Siqueira, Dado Castello Branco and architects Arthur Casa and Isay Weinfeld, as well as re-editioned pieces from Jorge Zalszupin (1960′s) and architecture collective Branco & Preto (1950′s).
ETEL for ESPASSO is a TERSSAS event – a series of exhibitions presented by ESPASSO representing the best of Brazilian design and culture. Curated by Carlos Junqueira and Béco Dranoff – both innovators in their respective fields – this Tuesday night series features a mix of emerging and established artists from a variety of interconnected worlds, including architecture, design, photography, fashion, film and music, all of whom reflect the vibrant culture of modern-day Brazil.
ESPASSO is the premier design gallery in the US for modern and contemporary Brazilian furniture, art and design objects. Opened in New York in 2002 and Los Angeles in 2004 by Sao Paulo native Carlos Junqueira, ESPASSO is committed to conserving Brazil’s rich 20th Century design heritage and promoting the work of today’s leading designers. The gallery features a highly curated selection of works by mid-century masters Sergio Rodrigues, Joaquim Tenreiro, and Jose Zanine Caldas, re-edtioned pieces by 1950′s architecture collective Branco & Preto, 1970′s icon Ricardo Fasanello, and 1930′s designer Gregory Warchavachic, as well as contemporary designers Etel Carmona, Arthur Casas, Claudia Moreira Salles, Carlos Motta, and architect Isay Weinfeld.
Etel Carmona heads her own furniture-making company, Etel Marcenaria, which sets an important standard in the design and manufacture of furniture in Brazil. The company’s guiding philosophy reflects the pioneering spirit of its owner. The preference for certified wood – ecological cutting, the preservation of young trees and sustainable forest management – reflect the ethical preoccupations of the designer. This same kind of social awareness is what prompted her studio to become a studio-school.
The pieces have no superfluous adornments and bear clean structural lines, with perfect finishing. Traditional woodworking techniques like marquetry are combined with innovative finishing methods using gold dust, copper, natural polishing and textures, effectively linking each design to the best of past and present surface styling. The quality of Etel Carmona’s furniture has been earning considerable recognition through exhibitions in Brazil and abroad, particularly in Germany.
The prolific Arthur Casas has earned the reputation of one of Brazil’s most exciting contemporary architects. Along the years, he has forged a versatile, highly recognizable brand. Amongst his noted works in São Paulo are the minimalist showrooms for Reinaldo Lourenço and Alexandre Herchcovitch. The Hotel Emiliano, featuring towering high ceiling guest spaces, is one of the most glamourous hotels in São Paulo and was designed by Casas.
Casas’ first works were produced during the 1980’s and are reminiscent of the Bauhaus (visible in the space integration and glass plans), Herbst (in the need to merge architecture with interior design) and Chareau (in the details). Amongst his other influences are modernist masters like Mallet-Stevens, Eileen Gray, Villanova Artigas, Rino Levi and Oswaldo Bratke.
In 2000, Casas opened his first office in New York. Exposed to a more international market, the architect’s oeuvre challenges what it means to be Brazilian.
He has designed the “World Bar” in the Trump Tower as well as private apartments. Casas explored the burgeoning interest in forms and typical materials from his country, albeit in a work deprived of ethnical obviousness. Indeed, the architecture and design represents an urban Brazil, modern and above all international.
Dado Castello Branco is a Brazilian architect and urbanist. He graduated in 1993 from the São Paulo School of Fine Arts, followed by a specialization program at École Speciale d’Architecture, in Paris.
With a focus on high end residential and corporate projects, his projects are characterized by a profound sense of aesthetics, always seeking a balance between sharp angles, clean lines and comfort.
Dado Castello Branco line of furniture has been designed exclusively for Etel, starting in 2006.
Architects Miguel Forte, Jacob Ruchti, Plínio Groce, Roberto Aflalo, Carlos Millan, and Che Y Hwa all graduated from the architecture course at the Mackenzie School of Engineering in São Paulo during the 1940′s and launched their furniture brand and store in 1952 called Branco & Preto. Their aim was to create a line of contemporary furniture that could be incorporated into the modern houses and apartments that began to sprout up in São Paulo during the 1950′s.
São Paulo, a city still quite provincial at the time, was being gradually modernized by the idealism of those coming up with a new architectural order, largely in response to a post-war world. The idea of the group behind Branco & Preto was to sell modern design and furniture made of all-Brazilian materials and exquisite finish. The original store at the time was filled with fabrics, pieces of furniture, Chinese pottery and even engravings donated by the owner’s friend, the sculptor and painter Henry Moore.
Marked by pure, graceful lines, Claudia Moreira Salles’ furniture conflates traditional woodwork techniques with a starkly modern, clean aesthetic. The result is a very understated elegance with a robust construction, hidden behind a deceptive lightness of form. Iconic designer Sergio Rodrigues has likened Moreira Salles to the great dames of design, such as Eileen Gray or Charlotte Perriand.
The designer graduated from the Industrial Design School of Rio de Janeiro in 1978. She directed her professional activity to the design of furniture, initially as an intern at the Institute of Industrial Design of the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. In 1988, Salles began designing furniture for Nanni Movelaria, in São Paulo, and since 1993 she has been creating furniture for Etel Marcenaria.
The designs of Lia Siqueira reveal a visceral link with wood. Hers is a feminine, delicate approach towards a design that has garnered considerable admiration in Brazil and abroad. From her position with the German firm Weilding, Kettner & Dr. Wenrer, she moved on to pursue her design career in Brazil.
Siqueira has won awards from the Institute of Architects of Brazil and MOVESP. In 1996, she received the Selo Rio Design Award. Currently, the designer heads the architectural firm Azul Arquitetura & Design since 1987, in Rio de Janeiro.
Isay Weinfeld is today one of Brazil’s most exciting contemporary architects. He is responsible for the elegantly minimalistic designs of several boutiques, restaurants, hotels and homes throughout São Paulo, including the luxurious Hotel Fasano. His furniture is characterized by clean, angular lines and echoes the forms of 1950’s Brazilian design.
Isay Weinfeld was born in São Paulo in 1952. He graduated in 1975 from School of Architecture – Mackenzie University. He was a professor of Theory of Architecture at the School of Architecture of Mackenzie University and of Kinetic Expression at the School of Communications of the Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado. In 2002, The work of Weinfeld and that of architect Marcio Kogan was selected to be exhibited at the 25th International Biennale of São Paulo.In 2004, Isay was assigned the Architectural Project for the 26th International Biennale of São Paulo.
The Polish born Jorge Zalszupin (1922 -) moved to Brazil after World War II, where he found a position to develop his extremely sensual, modern architecture.
A desire to rebuild a new post-war world and a wave of development in Brazil proved an ideal time for this creative atmosphere to flourish. Zalszupin’s furniture is marked by graceful lines, strong use of local woods and a conflation of impeccable woodworking and classical detailing.
Zalzsupin was one of the founders of the brand L’Atelier, a design collective comprised of architects, engineers, craftsmen and a full-scale team of professionals that did everything from researching materials to the finalizing the product. With the birth of the utopic Brasilia during the 1960’s and 1970’s, virtually no public building was left unmarked by the brand’s creations. L’Atelier’s designs stand as benchmarks of modernism to this day.