ESPASSO Presents: 'Fine Tuning' by Claudia Moreira Salles

Sep 12, 2016 4:28PM

ESPASSO, representing the best of modern and contemporary Brazilian furniture design in the U.S. and U.K., is pleased to announce the opening of “Fine Tuning,” a solo exhibition by Claudia Moreira Salles, one of the most important Brazilian furniture designers working today. The exhibition opens at ESPASSO’S New York gallery on September 13th, 2016 with a special event showcasing the pieces and a welcome by the designer herself.

Among the highlights of “Fine Tuning” is a line of limited edition lamps. Crafted with a rare metal primarily found in Brazil called Niobium, the lamps are the product of a chemical process that achieves distinctive chromatic results. This application of Niobium breaks traditional boundaries. Niobium is traditionally used in aeronautical manufacturing as a reinforcement to steel, and now is the first time it has been used to make lighting. The process entails wrapping the half-spherical lamp shades in sheets of the malleable metal. The shades are then dipped in a chemical bath to be cured, revealing a fantastic array of colors. Salles stands by the process all along the way, determining the perfect moment to remove the shades from the bath to affix the desired color.

“Fine Tuning” will also exhibit a series of original furniture designed by Salles, and is the result of the long-established collaboration between her studio, esteemed atelier ETEL Interiores and ESPASSO. The new pieces include a walkthrough installation of wood and concrete coat hangers, playful magnetic coffee tables, and a reedition of Salles’s popular “Canguru” desk.

Stand By Coathangers, 2015
Flash Lighting, 2015

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1955, Claudia Moreira Salles graduated from Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial in 1978. She first worked at the Industrial Design Institute of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro before moving to São Paulo to work for the Escriba furniture design team. While designing for prominent Brazilian design firm Nanni Movelaria, she established her own studio in 1988, and has been producing her own pieces ever since. 

Salles is widely recognized as a celebrated designer in Brazil’s furniture world. Her work has also been featured in Brazil’s leading cultural centers, including Paralelogramos at the Baró Gallery, the Museu da Casa Brasileira in São Paulo, Paço Imperial and Casa França Brasil in Rio de Janeiro. Her most recently published book is available at the MoMA bookstore. This exhibit will also be the launch of a new book featuring Salles’ “Fine Tuning” Lamp series, published by BEI. The exhibition’s name “Fine Tuning” embodies Salles’ process. Through methodical iteration and “tuning,” Salles reveals the natural beauty found in an industrial process. Complementing the delicate nature of Niobium, concrete pieces become light and warm wood and copper details highlight multichromatic shades. The contrasts in her material decisions accentuate the careful curation necessary to create the balance and overall unity which define the exhibition. 

“Claudia Moreira Salles’s lighting is truly elegant and delightful to look at—consistent characteristics of all her work. We are honored to be showcasing her new collection, while emphasizing the results of a rare process, which Claudia is pioneering in lighting design,” says ESPASSO’s owner and curator Carlos Junqueira.  

"Fine Tuning" is on view at ESPASSO, New York, Sept. 13, 2016-Oct. 9. 2016.