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Geraldo de Barros

Brazilian, 1923-1998

Although best known for his photography, Geraldo de Barros was an important contributor to the canon of mid-century modern furniture design and was one of Brazil’s most influential multidisciplinary artists.

Born in 1923 in Chavantes, São Paulo, de Barros began his artistic career as a painter before discovering a passion for photography in the 1940s. In 1950, he found fame with his successful “Fotoformas” exhibition held at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, which led to a scholarship from the French government to study in that country.

In the early 1950s, de Barros traveled throughout Europe, including Switzerland, where he met Bauhaus graduate Max Bill. At the time, Bill was collaborating with the Scholl Foundation on developing a design institute in Ulm, Germany, that combined Bauhaus tradition with emerging technical elements in design practice. Bill invited de Barros to visit the institute, where he became influenced by Bill’s philosophy of Gute Form — the belief that carefully designed objects could bring artistic values into homes. 

Upon his return to São Paulo, de Barros delved into furniture design. Along with engineer Justino Cardoso, metalworker Antônio Thereza, and a Dominican priest, Friar João Batista Pereira dos Santos, he founded the furniture company and Christian cooperative Unilabor, in 1954, on the outskirts of São Paulo.

As the firm’s chief designer, de Barros incorporated the concept of Concrete art into many of his pieces, particularly his armchairs. His dining room chairs, bookcases, coffee tables, cabinets and desks were also designed with straight lines, sobriety and functionality in mind and made with natural materials such as rosewood, jacaranda and iron. Given that it was more of a cooperative with a social mission than it was a manufacturer, Unilabor paid well and offered innovative modular furniture by way of de Barros-designed components that were produced serially to be used in the construction of complete furnishings.

Despite Unilabor’s success, the company ran into economic difficulties and eventually closed. Undaunted, de Barros founded another furniture company in 1964 — Hobjeto Indústria e Comércio de Móveis — where he focused on progressive furniture design with more geometric shapes.

During the 1960s, de Barros continued with furniture design and, as a painter, became interested in Pop art and abstract movements, founding influential groups such as Grupo 15, Galeria Rex and Grupo Ruptura

In the 1990s, de Barros returned to his career as a photographer until his death in 1998. De Barros’s furniture was shown at several exhibitions during the 1950s and 1960s, including the Exposição Nacional de Arte Concreta in São Paulo in 1956 and the Konkrete Kunst exhibition in Zurich in 1960. His photographs and paintings have also been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide.

On 1stDibs, discover a range of vintage Geraldo de Barros seating, tables, case pieces and storage cabinets.

Average Sold Price
$5,195
Styles
Materials
Related Creators
1960's Brazilian Desk Model « 1015 » by Geraldo de Barros Manufactured by Unilab
By Geraldo de Barros
Located in New York, NY
The Model 1015 desk by Geraldo de Barros is a unique and special piece of furniture, distinguished by its innovative use of materials, minimalist design, and the artistic vision of ...
Category

1960s Brazilian Vintage Geraldo de Barros

Materials

Metal, Brass

Tubular Armchair by Geraldo de Barros for Hobjeto, Brazil, 1970s
By Geraldo de Barros
Located in Brasília, BR
Tubular armchair designed by Geraldo de Barros for Hobjeto in the 70s. Made from black lacquered metal. This is the perfect piece for a collector. The cushions are original. They bea...
Category

Mid-20th Century Brazilian Mid-Century Modern Geraldo de Barros

Materials

Metal

1950's Brazilian Set of 6 Chairs by Geraldo de Barros
By Geraldo de Barros
Located in New York, NY
The set of 6 chairs by Geraldo de Barros represents a pinnacle of artistic innovation and functional elegance, reflecting the visionary spirit of one of Brazil's most influential ar...
Category

1950s Brazilian Vintage Geraldo de Barros

Materials

Cane

Gerardo de Barros 'Stool' 1956
By Geraldo de Barros
Located in Barcelona, ES
Geraldo de Barros Stool Manufactured by Unilabor Brasil, 1956 Iron, fabric upholstery and brass details Measurements 38cmx38cmx44hcm 14,9 in x 14,9 in x 17,32h in Literature Unilab...
Category

1950s Brazilian Vintage Geraldo de Barros

Materials

Brass, Iron

Gerardo de Barros 'Stool' 1956
Gerardo de Barros 'Stool' 1956
H 17.33 in W 14.97 in D 14.97 in
Buffet by Geraldo de Barros, 1956
By Geraldo de Barros
Located in Barcelona, ES
Buffet Manufactured by Unilabor Brazil, 1956 Jacaranda wood Measurements 206 cm x 40 cm x 78h cm 81,1 in x 15,74 in x 30,7h in Literature Unilabor, by Mauro Claro. Brasil, 2004. Se...
Category

1950s Brazilian Vintage Geraldo de Barros

Materials

Wood, Jacaranda

Buffet by Geraldo de Barros, 1956
Buffet by Geraldo de Barros, 1956
H 30.71 in W 81.11 in D 15.75 in
Double Day Bed by Geraldo de Barros, 1955
By Geraldo de Barros
Located in Barcelona, ES
Double day bed Manufactured by Unilabor Brazil, 1955 Jacaranda, fabric upholstery Measurements 182 cm x 189 cm x 34h cm 71,65 in x 73 in x 13,4h in Li...
Category

1950s Brazilian Vintage Geraldo de Barros

Materials

Iron

Double Day Bed by Geraldo de Barros, 1955
Double Day Bed by Geraldo de Barros, 1955
H 13.39 in W 74.41 in D 71.66 in
Day Bed by Geraldo de Barros, 1960s
By Geraldo de Barros
Located in Barcelona, ES
Day bed Manufactured by Unilabor Brasil, 1960 Jacaranda wood, iron, fabric upholstery Measurements 190 cm x 90 cm x 40h cm 74,8 in x 35,43 in x 15,74h in Literature Unilabor, by Ma...
Category

1960s Brazilian Vintage Geraldo de Barros

Materials

Iron

Day Bed by Geraldo de Barros, 1960s
Day Bed by Geraldo de Barros, 1960s
H 15.75 in W 74.81 in D 35.44 in
Bench by Geraldo de Barros, 1956
By Geraldo de Barros
Located in Barcelona, ES
Bench Manufactured by Unilabor Brazil, 1956 Jacaranda wood, upholstery Measurements 190 cm x 93 cm x 79h cm 74,8 in x 36,61 in x 31,10h in Details Unique piece comissioned by priva...
Category

1950s Brazilian Vintage Geraldo de Barros

Materials

Upholstery, Jacaranda

Bench by Geraldo de Barros, 1956
Bench by Geraldo de Barros, 1956
H 31.11 in W 74.81 in D 36.62 in
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Geraldo De Barros furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Geraldo de Barros furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Geraldo de Barros furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Geraldo de Barros were created in the mid-century modern style in south america during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Móveis Cimo, Forma Brazil, and José Zanine Caldas. Prices for Geraldo de Barros furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $1,730 and can go as high as $42,000, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $10,000.

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