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Jean Gillon Furniture

Although he was Romanian by birth, architect and designer Jean Gillon’s heart and soul belonged to his adopted country of Brazil. The country’s culture and revered architecture served as a muse for his mid-century furniture designs. Today Gillon ranks among the most interesting figures in Brazilian modernism, which is characterized by sensual forms and beautifully handcrafted chairs, tables and cabinets built from exotic hardwoods.

Gillon was born in Iasi and graduated from the city’s George Enescu National University of the Arts. He then moved to Paris, where he studied tapestry, worked at the newspaper Le Monde as a cartoonist and moonlighted as a set designer for the Paris Opera Ballet. He eventually left Paris for Vienna, where he studied architecture at the School of Industrial Arts, known today as the University of Applied Arts. In the early 1950s, Gillon was a visiting lecturer at London’s Central School of Arts and Crafts.

In 1956, Gillon moved with his wife and two daughters to São Paulo, where he developed a passion for Brazilian architecture, namely the work of modernists such as celebrated architect Lina Bo Bardi and designer José Zanine Caldas. Gillon took on interior decorating projects and formed the Fábrica de Móveis Cidam, which later became Italma Wood Art, in order to design furniture for his clients. Gillon’s furnishings, produced at Italma and also in collaboration with manufacturers such as Probel, were immensely popular and could be found in the planned capital city of Brasilia, a project launched in 1956 by Oscar Niemeyer.

Gillon designed everything from bowls and baskets to centerpieces, tables and other objects and furniture. However, he was best known for his lounge chairs and sofas, including his iconic Jangada chair. Named for the Portuguese word for traditional Brazilian fishing boats, the award-winning Jangada was framed in jacaranda in the late 1960s. The welcoming seat of Gillon’s visually striking trapezoidal lounge chair features plush leather cushions that are supported by nylon fishing rope.

Gillon continued to produce furniture for Italma Wood Art until he retired in 2003. He died in 2007, and today Gillon’s pieces remain highly covetable among interior designers and collectors of modern furniture.

On 1stDibs, find a range of vintage Jean Gillon seating, decorative objects and serveware.

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Creator: Jean Gillon
Dealer: Decorum
Jacaranda Wood Bowl By Jean Gillon For Wood Art, 1960
By Jean Gillon
Located in Toronto, ON
This is a masterful, smooth, exotic and beautifully hand carved Jacaranda wood bowl by Brazillian design icon Jean Gillon for Wood Art. It bears its original production label classif...
Category

1960s Brazilian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Jean Gillon Furniture

Materials

Wood

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Jean Gillon furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Jean Gillon 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 Jean Gillon furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Jean Gillon 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 Carlo Hauner, Móveis Cimo, and Geraldo de Barros. Prices for Jean Gillon furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $230 and can go as high as $51,995, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $8,500.

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