Brazilian Modern at Ampersandhouse

Ampersand House is a gallery of art and design located in a maison de maître in central Brussels. Owners Kathryn Smith and Ike Udechuku, an Australian-British couple curate the gallery as a constantly evolving living environment mixing vintage, contemporary and prototype work to inspire a dialogue with and between collectors and creatives. The I Love Belgium team discovered this beauty awhile ago. It's a shame that we didn't post about it sooner. We're first going to talk about their current exhibition and we're going to sit down with the stylish couple for a more elaborate post about their concept.

Brazilian Modern is an exhibition during Design September, the Brussels' design month in Brussels, presenting, for the first time in Belgium, a large collection of Brazilian modernist furniture masterpieces by great designers such as Joaquim Tenreiro, Sergio Rodrigues and Jorge Zalszupin.

The first Brazilian modern designers were European. Europeans by origin or education, they arrived in Brazil in the 1920’s bringing the European Modernist Architecture with its artistic and social movements. The new architectural concepts needed a new style of furniture, away from the classical model that did not fit the new shapes and spaces.

The Semana de 22 (In February of 1922 the Semana de Arte Moderna de 1922 officially launched Brazil’s Modern movement in a multi-discplinary week-long event at the Teatro Municipal in São Paulo. Establishing a new cultural critical approach, the event united Brazil’s intelligentsia in the arts to articulate new concepts and strategies for national cultural production) introduced modernity in fine arts and laid the ground for the transformation of the arts in Brazil. There was a strong resistance to the new ideas by the bourgeois and provincial Brazilian society who rejected the modernist aesthetics but the evolution of the lifestyle and taste, together with the economic development opened the way to radical changes in the Brazilian society.

The designers and architects who arrived from Europe, gradually assimilated the Brazilian soul, its creativity, aesthetics and expressions. They learned about the richness of Brazilian wood. They became truly Brazilian designers. Between the 1920’s and the 1960’s the work of this new generation of designers has been extensively analysed, discussed and assimilated.

Today, the contribution of modernism in architecture and design is considered as an essential part of Brazilian cultural heritage. The technical and aesthetic innovations, brought by these pioneers, still represent the benchmark for the younger generation of Brazilian Designers. A must-see for every design lover.

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