This week, I have been surrounded by Latin American design. Last evening I have attended a fascinating and well-delivered lecture on Latin American design by Christian Larsen, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts & Design at the Met who appeared at my alma mater, the Bard Graduate Center, which I found enlightening and informative. Larsen, whose Ph.D. dissertation focuses on this subject, has highlighted the main themes that came to inform and characterize modern design in Mexico, Brazil, and Cuba during the period of modernization, examining the aesthetic innovations within the context of history and material culture. It was particularly relevant, as I am reading the newly-published and fantastic book ‘Brazil Modern: The Rediscovery of Twentieth-Century Brazilian Furniture’ by Aric Chen (below). The introduction is written by Zesty Meyers, who together with partner Evan Snyderman, can be credited for rediscovering mid-century Brazilian furniture and for creating what has since became a dynamic and global market. The book, published by Monacelli Press examines Brazilian furniture in light of the growing consumption, local resources, social conditions, and the creation of design fully charge with national identity. The book is filled with photos of stunning pieces of furniture, all crafted in local hardwoods, and all represent the Golden Age of Brazilian design. All photos courtesy of R & Company. Larsen will participate in my program on Collecting Design at the New York School of Interior Design this season.
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