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Joaquim Tenreiro Three-Seat Sofa, Brazil, 1954

$36,987.72

About

Joaquim Tenreiro Three seats sofa Manufactured by Tenreiro Moveis e Decoraçaos Brazil, 1954 Jacaranda, upholstery From the archives of Side Gallery, Barcelona Measurements: 200 cm x 77 cm x 74 H cm (42 in seat height) 78.75 in x 30.32 in x 29.14 H in (16.54 in seat height) Provenance Private collection from Rio de Janeiro Literature Soraia Cals, Tenreiro, Rio de Janeiro, 2000 Biography Joaquim Tenreiro (1906-1992) was among leading furniture designers and visual artists in modernist Brazilian furniture making in the mid-20th century. A forerunner in the use of rediscovered raw materials as well as the creator of a new formal language in 20th century Brazilian furniture design, he drew on the lessons of past furniture making as a vital source, not only in the mastery of technical and constructive solutions, but also in the aesthetic experience, craftsmanship, and the cultural meaning of his production. His exquisitely crafted pieces evoke a refined coexistence of traditional values and modern aesthetics, strongly bound to the Brazilian cultural milieu. Born in Portugal to a family with a great tradition in furniture making, he moved to Brazil at the age of 22 and embraced a career as a designer by working at various furniture manufacturers such as Leandro Martins, Francisco Gomes and Laubisch & Hirth. Tenreiro proposed a contemporary language and advocated the idea that Brazilian furniture should be “formally light…A lightness which has nothing to do with weight itself, but with graciousness, and the functionality of spaces.

Details

  • Creator
    Joaquim Tenreiro (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 29.14 in. (74 cm)Width: 30.32 in. (77 cm)Depth: 78.75 in. (200 cm)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    1954
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    Barcelona, ES
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU2374317645762

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Customs Duties & Taxes May Apply.
    Ships From: Barcelona, Spain
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 2 days of delivery.

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About the Designer

Joaquim Tenreiro

The Portugese-born furniture designer Joaquim Tenreiro was a pioneer of modernism in Brazil, where his work paved the way for the successes of such mid-20th-century design greats as Sergio Rodrigues, Jorge Zalszupin, and Lina Bo Bardi, an Italian-Brazilian architect whose futuristic São Paulo buildings are only part of her legacy. Tenreiro’s chairs, tables and cabinets are known for their simplicity of line and an elegance that is enhanced by the use of richly grained South American hardwoods such as jacaranda and imbuia. Tenreiro’s father and grandfather were both master woodworkers, under whom he trained in the craft. He had artistic leanings and in the late 1920s enrolled as a university student at the School of Arts and Crafts in Rio de Janeiro, where he joined a group of upstart modernists protesting the staid, retrograde curriculum at the college. At the time, Brazil was culturally mired in a 19th-century mindset that was reflected in an upper-class preference for academic painting and reproduction furnishings in antique European styles. But the progressive spirit that Tenreiro and his colleagues fostered slowly gained force. With the terms “lightness” and “functionality” as his bywords, Tenreiro opened a furniture-design business in 1943, where one of his first clients was the legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer. The arrival of Brazil’s first democratically elected government, in 1945, lent modernism official sanction, which culminated in the construction of the new capital, Brasília. Tenreiro eventually stepped away from design in the late 1960s to devote his time to sculpture and painting. To appreciate how revolutionary Tenreiro’s work seemed, one must imagine the heavy, ornately carved, deeply varnished furniture that was the standard for top-end Brazilian interior design in the 1930s. Tenreiro’s chairs and sofas employed slender, softly angular frames that were only lightly stained to highlight the grains of the local woods. He preferred chairs and chaises with caned seats and backrests that “breathe” in the tropical climate, and as a carpenter and joiner he wanted to show off the beauty of Brazilian wood. Two versions of a three-legged side chair introduced in 1947 serve as a veritable manifesto for a new age in Brazilian design: Using the stack-lamination technique, Tenreiro bonded together a gently contoured seat made of alternating layers of different-colored native woods to produce a magnificent stripe effect. These chairs, like all Tenreiro works, demonstrate the enduring power of simple design and superb construction — with a teaspoon of flair.
About the Seller
3.7 / 5
Located in Barcelona, Spain
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Established in 2015
1stDibs seller since 2016
66 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 13 hours
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