Joaquim Tenreiro



Joaquim Tenreiro (1906-1992) was a pioneer in modernist Brazilian furniture making. The artist and furniture designer was born in Portugal and moved to Rio de Janeiro in the late 1920s. Tenreiro refused to indulge in his new country’s parochial tastes and instead challenged his clients to appreciate more contemporary styles. In the early 1940s, he established his studio, and by the 1950s, he was designing furniture for modern architects like Oscar Niemeyer.

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. As a result, his exquisitely crafted pieces evoke a refined coexistence of traditional values and modern aesthetics, firmly bound to the Brazilian cultural milieu.