Joaquim Tenreiro

Portuguese-Brazilian, 1906–1992

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Joaquim Tenreiro

Portuguese-Brazilian, 1906–1992

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Biography

Referred to often as the “father” of Brazilian modernism, furniture designer Joaquim Tenreiro, who was born in Portugal and moved to Rio de Janeiro in the late 1920s, refused to indulge the parochial tastes of his new country and instead challenged his clients to appreciate more contemporary styles. In the early 1940s, he established his own studio, and by the 1950s he was designing furniture for modern architects like Oscar Niemeyer. Tenreiro championed furniture that was “formally light”, as he described; working in wicker and tropical hardwoods to suit the hot climate of Brazil, he is a prime example of a designer making the most of material constraints.

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Biography

Referred to often as the “father” of Brazilian modernism, furniture designer Joaquim Tenreiro, who was born in Portugal and moved to Rio de Janeiro in the late 1920s, refused to indulge the parochial tastes of his new country and instead challenged his clients to appreciate more contemporary styles. In the early 1940s, he established his own studio, and by the 1950s he was designing furniture for modern architects like Oscar Niemeyer. Tenreiro championed furniture that was “formally light”, as he described; working in wicker and tropical hardwoods to suit the hot climate of Brazil, he is a prime example of a designer making the most of material constraints.

Career Highlights
Articles Featuring Joaquim Tenreiro
SP-Arte’s New Section Celebrates a Burgeoning Brazilian Design Scene Rooted in History
Feb 22nd, 2016
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