Berlin is one of Europe's most attractive cities, not simply because the city itself is beautiful, but because of its rich cultural life and its wealth of art galleries. And now, until May 5th, 2012, there's an added appeal for culture vultures and connoisseurs of style as the Zeitlos Gallery is hosting 'Brazilian Design: Modern & Contemporary Furniture', the biggest exhibition of Brazilian design ever held in Europe. Why not pop across to the German capital and discover the skill and creativity of some of South America's top designers?
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In recent years Brazil has become an important centre for design with internationally recognised names such as the centenarian Oscar Niemeyer and, from a later generation, the Campana brothers, Fernando and Humberto. Over 80 pieces are on display giving a broad view of Brazilian design in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This overview is one of the big attractions of the exhibition, which focuses on two very different points in the field of Brazilian design.
The starting point is the 'modern period', specifically, the golden years of the Forties. This is really the moment when design and architecture took off in Brazil, and it did so greatly influenced by the Bauhaus movement. Items on display from this era include pieces by such recognised names as Lina Bo Bardi, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Sergio Rodrigues, Joaquim Tenreiro, Jorge Zalszupin, Jose Zanine Caldas and, of course, the renowned Niemeyer.
But the modern era was by no means the end of Brazilian design and the exhibition also reflects the work of artists from the 'contemporary period', beginning in the late Eighties. Through its diversity, irreverence, creativity and sustainability, contemporary Brazilian design has achieved international recognition and been honoured by numerous awards. Pieces at the exhibition representing this period include names such as the Campana brothers, Zanini de Zanine, Rodrigo Almeida, Brunno Jahara, Sergio Matos and Carlos Motta.
Highlights among the pieces on display from the modern period include the 'three feet' chair in five types of solid wood by Joaquim Tenreiro and a solid wood and glass sideboard by Jose Zanine Caldas. Among the contemporary pieces is the Campana brothers' 'Peixe' bench in folded steel plate, which can be seen for the first time in 20 years since it appeared in the young designers' first exhibition.