Bilingual architecture Brazilian magazine Monolito dedicates each of their issue to a single theme/figure. The current Monolito issue celebrates the 30-year career of Brazilian architect and designer Arthur Casas, surveying his prolific practice that spans over residential and commercial buildings, civic and urban projects, and interior, furniture and home accessory design. Heading offices both in São Paulo and in New York, Casas’ work has steadily gained acclaim since he began in the 1980’s, as he is recognized as one of the most important and influential contemporary Brazilian architects working today. In consequence, Studio Arthur Casas has recently won 4 major public projects competitions, including the revitalization project of one of the oldest and most famous public centers in Brazil, the Pelourinho complex in Salvador, Bahia, as well as the competition for the Brazilian Pavilion at the Expo Milano 2015. Check out more here.
Monthly Archives: June 2014
Originally designed in the 1960’s by Jorge Zalsuzpin, and named after the Rio de Janeiro beach and the romantic bossa nova songs it inspired, the Ipanema armchair offers a comfortable and smart design as relaxing as the eponymous carioca beach. Hand-crafted out of Brazilian woods, the Ipanema features details such as wooden buttons and leather sling arms, in a versatile design that is bound to enhance any setting. Available in the US exclusively at Espasso, the Ipanema is part of a recent launch of 20 newly re-edited furniture pieces by Jorge Zalszupin that have been out of production since their original launch in the 1960’s; a rediscovered classic!
Contemporary arts and culture Brazilian magazine Select has featured the recent Espasso launch and exhibition of the new re-edition furniture by Oscar Niemeyer and Jorge Zalszupin. The feature highlights Niemeyer’s Marquesa bench, whose ‘brazilian curves’ is evident here in Niemeyer’s interpretation of a traditional Roman bed bench.
The new book New Brazilian House by Dominic Bradbury, recently published by Thames & Hudson, compiles classic and contemporary houses that exemplify the creative and unique legacy of Brazil’s architecture and design heritage. With photography by Richard Powers, Bradbury traces the lineage of Brazilian houses spanning from mid-century architecture by Lina Bo Bardi, Oscar Niemeyer and Paulo Mendes da Rocha, furniture design by Sergio Rodrigues and Jorge Zalszupin, and landscape design by Roberto Burle Marx, to contemporary architecture by Isay Weinfeld, Arthur Casas and Marcio Kogan, interior designs by Fernanda Marques and furniture by Carlos Motta and Arthur Casas. Organized in categories such as Iconic Houses, Town, Country and Coast, and with a special dedication to Espasso’s Carlos Junqueira, New Brazilian Houses offers a survey encapsulating the style and tradition of the Brazilian domestic space.
This coming Friday The Bronx Museum of the Arts will present the Sarau with Nicolau —a festive reception with music, dance and video art screenings in the Brazilian modernist tradition. Modernist saraus were intimate and political, hosted in the homes of cultural luminaries to discuss topical social issues and Brazilian identity. Organized by artist Nicolau Vergueuro, The Bronx Museum sarau will showcase local cultural producers, highlighting dynamic aspects of their work that reflect contemporary international urban experience. Featuring music by Midnight Magic, a dance performance choreographed by Felipe Galganni, and the debut of a new video art piece by Nicolau Vergueiro. Friday June 20th, from 6:30 – 9:00pm. Check here for more information.
ESPASSO is excited to launch the office version of the iconic Paulistano armchair, originally designed in 1957, by Pritzker prize laureate, Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Designed in 1985 the Paulistano Office Chair was developed by Brazilian creative group Nucleon 8, and features adjustable seating height and casters, for complete functionality. The Paulistano Office Chair is available in the US exclusively at ESPASSO.
Opening this Sunday, June 15th, is Poiesis in Praxis, an exhibition of Brazilian multi-media artists Lenora de Barros and Tunga, at Pioneer Works Center for Arts and Innovation in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Daniel Rangel, the exhibition marks the third installment of the ART.BR program, each summer bringing to NY contemporary names in Brazilian interdisciplinary art. During the opening reception, on Sunday June 15th at 7pm, Lenora de Barros will present the performance Pregação, resulting in an installation on view through June 29th, along Tunga’s videos Quimera, Medula and Cooking Destricted. Poiesis in Praxis was realized by ICCo (Institute of Contemporary Culture, São Paulo) in partnership with Pioneer Works & Clocktower Productions. Check here for more information.
Brussel’s Almine Rech Gallery opened their summer show this past weekend, Platform, curated by Nicolas Trembley. With an engaging installation that consists of a single large plinth centered in the gallery, where a range of design and art objects are displayed upon, Platform “…will play with and question the reciprocal movements between sculpture and objects, commercial and cultural spaces, art and shopping, high and low culture.” Included in the installation are disparate figures from the art world including contemporary american artists Mark Hagen, Patrick Hill and Aaron Curry, established names as Jeff Koons, Haim Steinbach, Franz West and Andy Warhol, alongside design objects by design and architecture greats as Cari Zalloni, Ettore Sottsass and Oscar Niemeyer, whose original miniature of his 1971 Alta armchair is on display. More on the exhibition here.
On June 6th the 14th installment of the Venice Artchitecture Biennale opened, for the first time including programs, exhibits and events contextualized by other disciplines such as dance, film and music. Curated by Dutch architect and theorist Rem Koolhaas, the 2014 Biennale has the title and theme of Fundamentals, and “… looks at histories, tries to reconstruct how architecture finds itself in its current situation, and speculates on its future.” Divided in 3 exhibitions, for the first time the national pavilion presentations were invited to respond to a single theme: the 65 participating countries examine key moments from a century of modernization. “… show(ing), each in their own way, a radical splintering of modernities in a century where the homogenizing process of globalization appeared to be the master narrative.” Brazil’s pavilion, titled Brazil: Modernity As Tradition, curated by André Corrêa do Lago, showcased seminal modernist architecture by the likes of Oscar Niemeyer and Lina Bo Bardi, as well as contemporary projects by Arthur Casas, Isay Weinfeld and Ruy Ohtake, that carry a modernist legacy while pointing at contemporary and future tendencies in Brazilian architecture. On view through November, check out the Biennale’s full program here.
Architecture and design journalist Marcelo Lima interviewed ESPASSO’s principal Carlos Junqueira for the Lifestyle Home & Decor section of Brazilian newspaper O Estado de São Paulo. In the interview, titled ‘Entrepreneur Brings Niemeyer to New York’, Junqueira expresses the significance of launching the re-edition of Oscar Niemeyer furniture pieces in the US, the concurrent launch of new re-editions by Niemeyer’s contemporary Jorge Zalszupin, and the captivating features and details of bothe masters’ work: “The public is very enthusiastic and surprised. Firstly for not knowing the design of Niemeyer and, some, by Zalszupin. The curves and the way Niemeyer uses the wood in his furniture generated a lot of excitment, especially in his lacquered wood pieces. The hand carpentry of Zalsuzpin’s works, the sophistication of materials and, above all, the details – such as the wooden buttons on the upholsteries – also grabbed people’s attention. We were also surprised in the many comments as to how Niemeyer’s aesthetic is very contemporary. In respect to one of his armchairs, one of our clients affirmed: ‘The Alta is so New York!’” Junqueira comments. Check out entire interview an slideshow here.