MANUFATURA OR THE CELEBRATING BRAZILIAN SAVOIR-FAIRE
Celebrated Brazilian designer duo, Fernando and Humberto Campana will unveil at the opening of their exhibition ‘Manufatura’, recent pieces from their new collections ‘Detonado’, ‘Bolotas’, ‘Ofidia’ and ‘Animal Center Table’. Manufatura – manufacture in Portuguese – is also intended to be a celebration of the Brazilian crafts.
The Brazilian designers have always paid particular attention to the quality of the execution of their pieces, the high level of craftsmanship and the transmission of techniques. This is particularly the case for the Campanas who, for the ‘Manufatura’ exhibition, renewed their ancestral savoir-faire without forgetting popular Brazilian culture.
The creation of the ‘Detonado’, ‘Bolotas’, ‘Ofidia’ and ‘Animal Center’ series have been an opportunity for the duo to emphasize, more than ever, the use of refined materials and to celebrate their heritage. A reinterpretation of their own artistic and creative practices where tradition and innovation are mixed together.
‘Manufatura’, is an exclusive solo-show from 2 April until 19 May at Carpenters Workshop Gallery Paris, with the involvement of fashion label FENDI, who for the occasion will unveil a work, which is the fruit of a collaboration with the duo.
TRANSCENDING ERAS AND TECHNIQUES
Creating a dialogue between European and Brazilian design with modernist influences, the ‘Detonado’ series uses sucupira and Freijó woods, typical of Brazil, juxtaposed with reclaimed wicker from Thonet chairs, icons of industrially designed furniture of the 19th century. The series is comprised of a modular shelf, a console table and a sideboard.
“Our initial inspiration was the desire to mix the characteristic stringing of tennis racquets with the process of caning (weaving chair seats) typical of the Portuguese and Brazilian furniture at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century,” the Campanas explain. “Furthermore, we wanted to dematerialise the material by using the leftovers of traditionally hand-woven wicker, in order to bring a new look to this material, close to basketry, playing with its transparency. The weaving was done here in the studio with a local artisan.”
Made from cast bronze, the ‘Ofidia’ series is reminiscent of a long piece of rope that slithers and twists itself in an organic but dynamic way to form a side table and mirror. ‘Ofidia’, meaning snake in Portuguese, is inspired by the sinuous undulations of a reptile. “We wanted to concentrate on the creation process of the piece, the solidification of the rope with the help of cast bronze.”
CHAIRS TO NEST IN
The ‘Bolotas’ series is available in an armchair and a sofa and is made out of sheepskin, creating a “nest” effect, for incomparable seating comfort. The duo remain in touch with their heritage by using natural South American wood, for the chair legs. “We decided to use natural skin in order to offer comfort in the
design: sheepskin cushions for the armchair and sofa, carefully arranged on a stainless steel structure with legs made from Brazilian wood.”
Represented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery since 2009, Fernando and Humberto Campana have invested this year a studio at Carpenters Workshop I Roissy in order to develop the first piece of a whole new series. ‘Animal Center’ will also be presented at the ‘Manufatura’ exhibition. An impressive, rounded low table, made from straw marquetry on a hammered, polished brass frame. ‘‘The ‘Animal center table’ series comes from an investigation of traditional marquetry techniques. We wanted to bring a new look to this process by arranging wicker in natural patterns that are fluid and are casually constructed over a brass tube structure’’.
Humberto, born in 1953 and Fernando, born in 1961 are brothers from Brazil. Since 1983, Fernando and Humberto Campana have achieved both national and international recognition. Their work incorporates their ethos in environment and the idea of re-using and re-inventing everyday materials to achieve some notably Brazilian characteristics—bright colors, creative chaos, the triumph of simple solutions.
Based in São Paulo, their studio often works in partnership with local communities, factories, and industries. They are the recipients of numerous awards, including the Ordre des Arts et Lettre from the Ministry of Culture in France and the Order of Cultural Merit in Brazil. In 1998 their Project 66 was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Since then they have worked with Alessi and Fontana Arte on unlimited edition pieces, and their studio crafts its own unique handmade pieces. Those special editions are included in the permanent collections of renowned cultural institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Their studio also works in interior design, architecture, and landscaping, and the brothers have created a collection of Brazilian jewelry for H.Stern, shoes and bags for Grendene, and a cabinet for Louis Vuitton. In 2009 and in 2012 they reinterpreted the traditional Lacoste polo shirt. Set design is another area of interest, and their sets have been featured by the Ballet National de Marseille and in a production of Peter and the Wolf at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Their work has been the subject of several exhibitions, including one at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York in 2008.