brazilian design at friedman benda west hollywood gallery
Friedman Benda is holding an exhibition entitled ‘Cine São José: 35 years of Estúdio Campana’ in honor of your great work Fernando Campana and its influence on the design community in the 21st century. This show will include a wide selection of pieces that reflect the studio’s legacy over the past fifteen years, as well as some new works that embody the studio’s core values while celebrating this moment in time.
‘Cine São José’ presents a timeline of iconic works based not only on local, social, artistic and personal contexts, but also reflects Deyan Sudjic’s concept of ‘recalibrating’ modern design objects. The show is a special tribute to the cinema in the hometown of the Campana brothers, Brotas, where they spent much of their childhood, seeing the silver screen as a window to the world.
image © designboom | header by Julian Calero, courtesy of Albertz Benda and Friedman Benda, LA and artists
etúdio campana heritage
The rare Yanomani Chairman the earliest piece exhibited at Friedman Benda‘Cine São José: 35 Years of Estúdio Campana.’ It was created as part of the Desconfortáveis (‘Uncomfortable’) Collection, a basic set of about twenty chairs created in 1989. The chairs were constructed from iron, with blown cutouts that allowed for personal expression and exploration of ordinary materials.
This work led to further experimentation, such as the use of off-the-shelf and industrial components and a reinterpretation of traditional furniture making. An example of this is the Plastico Bolha Chair since 1995, which consists of sheets of bubble wrap bolted to a metal frame, where air and transparency are the main elements.
Noah’s mirror (2017), Pirarucu armchair (2015), Ofidia Side Table (2015) | image © designboom
cartoon and sushi chairs
The early 2000s saw the The sushi series come to fruition as a result of Estúdio Campana’s desire to make something that evokes its surroundings, while at the same time embracing less traditional materials and a commitment to sustainability. The Wave buffet and the Sushi mirror, characterized by concentric rolls of leftover fabrics, reflect the language created to pay homage to the combined fabric patterns observed in São Paulo households.
In 2009 came the Cartoon Chair with its stuffed-animal upholstery, the concept of comfort reached a new level and its reinterpretation of global material in a way that was absurd and humorous, referring in turn to the densely populated cities and towns of Brazil full of Baroque excellence.
Galactica Couch, 2020 (start) | image © designboom
explore traditional understanding
As seen in the Friedman Benda exhibition, Estúdio Campana consistently explored the use of local materials and crafts, both handmade and manufactured, as a form of exploration. Wicker and natural fibers are materials that the studio often visits, seen in the Detonado a set (from 2013) that includes reclaimed Thonet wicker seats, and the new one Chairman of Jalapão (2022) brings a renaissance sophistication and design complexity, demonstrating the studio’s ongoing search for extraordinary potential from singular raw materials.
Disney sofa, 2009 | image © designboom
In the late 2010s, the brothers’ journey continued, showing the collection and reinforcement of signature motifs along with the expansion of the scope of their studio. Very personal topics made their way into the artwork, including the brothers’ connection to nature. The Noah series emerged as a response to individual and societal unease due to ongoing climate change and the demolition of natural habitats.
Bubble Wrap Chair (1995), Noah’s vase (2017)
image by Julian Calero, courtesy of Albertz Benda and Friedman Benda, LA and artists
leather molded around styrofoam
In addition to the Jalapão chair, Their newest designs include the Galactica sofa (2020). This piece is crafted using traditional leather shaped around Styrofoam, which is commonly used as a packaging material for electronics and other consumer products. Joining these forms together creates a commentary on reality, while also creating a light, innovative design. The use of materials, colors, and accumulation of design make it unique.