Rodrigo Almeido, Brunno Jahara
11/29/2013 – 2/14/2014
Curator: Jana Bernartová, Jen Kratochvil
Through the exhibition entitled Brazil II: Design, the Kvalitář Gallery follows the ongoing exhibition project Brazil I: Architecture, which provides a critical comment on narrowing data flows and the related knowledge and awareness of modern Brazilian architecture in the eyes of European public.
This time, we present a unique, and in the Czech context unprecedented, insight onto furniture and industrial design in the work of Brazilian designers Rodrigo Almeida and Bruno Jahara.
Rodrigo Almeida oscillates on the sharp edge of sculpture and furniture morphology. Rather than for industrial production, he creates his works as distinctive solitaires. His creative span covers traditional Brazilian visual elements, ranging from the abundance of shapes and colours of local nature, through exuberant playfulness of sparkling carnivals, to inward knowledge of European postmodernism of the 1970s and 1980s. In an additive manner, he thus attaches to the experience of famous postmodernist such as Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass, and the studios Alchimia, Archizoom, or Memphis his own personal experience of life in the environment of Brazil, yet not modernist Brazil but traditional and pre-modern. This gives rise to unique work, hard to define in terms of European experience, which through its specific visuality, draws us into dream-like exotic visions of remote rainforest and post-utopian tribal society merging new and ancient materials, age-old and state-of-the-art procedures, and morphology of various times and spaces. The work of Rodrigo Almeida has been deliberately selected for the purposes of presenting Brazilian design as a direct counterbalance to the universally known Brazilian modernity emphasised in an architectural exhibition.
Apart from unusual art-like furniture, we also present porcelain manufactured in series in the most famous traditional Portuguese porcelain factory Vista Alegre, whose history dates back to 1815. Vista Alegre is well-known for its efforts to enrich new collections with the work of artists and designers from the whole world, which is a well-established principle, proven successful already since the first industrial porcelain manufactures in the 18th century Britain, such as famous Josiah Wedgwood. For the purposes of sale, he was one of the first to use the showroom principle and a product catalogue for the selection from a wider assortment on offer. This is a model which was gradually adapted by industrial production across Europe and later overseas. In order to innovate their collections, Vista Alegre also invited Brunno Jahara, Brazilian furniture designer, who prepared a complete porcelain set referring to the historical colonial bond between Brazil and Portugal.
Furniture solitaires and traditional, yet innovated porcelain manufactured in series imply a wide range of creative, expression and aesthetic means of which Brazil may boast apart from its famous Niemeyer’s modernism.
This brings the two-part exhibition project in the Kvalitář Gallery to its end. The corresponding aesthetic and ideological lines of Brazilian creativity are extended with numerous essential questions of perception and understanding of the Brazilian cultural identity, its links to the European legacy and immeasurable own distinct creativity.