With mid-century Brazilian furniture moving forward and into the mainstream of the collectible design market, becoming the subject of publications, auctions, and exhibitions, I would like to tell you about a beautiful venture, called Studio 55, which is taking shape these days in Los Angeles (opening on September 21st). It is an ambitious project of two Brazilians, Sao Paolo-based art dealer Cecilia Tanure, and Los-Angeles-based movie star Ulysses De Santi, both passionate about the design produced during the postwar decades in their homeland. In fact, their love for Brazilian design was what has first bonded their friendship. And together, they have succeeded to assemble an impressive group of furniture, representing the vision and aesthetics of their design heroes: Joaquim Tenreiro, Jorge Zalzupin, Geraldo de Barros, Carlo Hauner & Martin Eisler, and Sergio Rodrigues. Los Angeles, they believe, is the perfect place to launch the project, simply because the modernist furniture crafted of rich and textured hardwoods native to Brazil, they argue, would be at home in the city, which itself has played a key role in the evolution of American Modernism during the years this furniture was crafted. They are not seeking to open a gallery in the traditional sense of the institution, but rather to establish a new type of design gallery that operates in pop-up locations, and is founded upon programs and exhibition, but without a geographical commitment. As we witness the transformation of the gallery business, from the permanent space into such innovative ways as ships, private homes, and pop-up ventures, next year, they plan to take this venture to Hong Kong.
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