JOAQUIM TENREIRO

1906-1992

IN 1928, A YOUNG PORTUGUESE CABINETMAKER FROM THE REGION OF MELO, JOAQUIM TENREIRO, SETTLES PERMANENTLY IN BRAZIL. AFTER YEARS OF LABORIOUS WORK IN LOCAL WORKSHOPS, WHERE HE WORKS ON EVERYTHING FROM LOUIS XV COPIES TO CHIPPENDALE FURNITURE, TENREIRO SEES HIS CAREER TAKE AN UNEXPECTED TURN IN 1943, WHILE WORKING AT RIO DE JANEIRO'S LAUBITSCH & HIRTH. WHILE THE DESIGN DIRECTOR OF HIS WORKSHOP IS AWAY, HE RECEIVES AN ASSIGNMENT FOR THE COMPLETE FURNISHING OF A HOUSE OSCAR NIEMEYER IS BUILDING IN CATAGUASES, MINAS GERAIS. HE PRESENTS A RESOLUTELY MODERN PROJECT, FREE OF ANY OLD-FASHIONED ORNAMENTS. THE ARCHITECT AND THE CLIENT ARE THRILLED, AND TENREIRO'S PROJECT IS CHOSEN FOR THE FURNISHING OF THE HOUSE. A YEAR LATER, TENREIRO DECIDES TO BREAK FREE AND OPEN HIS OWN WORKSHOP. TOGETHER WITH A FORMER SALES PERSON OF LAUBITSCH & HIRTH, THEY CREATE "LANGENBACH & TENREIRO" AND OPEN A WORKSHOP ON RUA DA CONCEIÇÃO. THE PARTNERSHIP WOULD ONLY LAST A COUPLE YEARS AND BY THE EARLY 1950'S, TENREIRO CREATES "TENREIRO MOVÉIS E DECORAÇOES" ON HIS OWN. IN THE EARLY 1950’S, TENREIRO IS ALREADY CONSIDERED AS THE GREATEST FURNITURE MAKER IN BRAZIL AND THE LEADER OF THE MODERNIST MOVEMENT. USING HIS EXPERIENCE AND HIS MASTERY OF TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS, HE WOULD QUICKLY BECOME RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING THE VOCABULARY OF BRAZILIAN MODERN FURNITURE.AS MANY OF HIS CONTEMPORARIES AND FOLLOWERS PARTICIPATING IN THE DEFINITION OF POST-COLONIAL BRAZIL’S IDENTITY AND AESTHETICS, TENREIRO WOULD TRY AND CREATE FURNITURE WHICH HAS TO BE FORMALLY LIGHT – A LIGHTNESS IN SPACE, THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WEIGHT. USING THE STUNNING NATURAL MATERIALS OF THE COUNTRY, PARTICULARLY JACARANDA (BAHIA ROSEWOOD) AND TRADITIONAL WOVEN CANE, TENREIRO CREATED EXTREMELY MODERN FURNITURE, WITH PERFECT PROPORTIONS, OF AN UNPARALLELED QUALITY.IN 1968, TIRED AND AFRAID OF NOT BEING ABLE TO RENEW HIMSELF IN A BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT THAT HAS SEEN MANY NEW CHALLENGERS ARRIVE IN THE LAST YEARS, TENREIRO CLOSES HIS BUSINESS TO DEVOTE HIMSELF TO PAINTING. 1968 MARKS THE END OF THE BRAZILIAN MODERN FURNITURE GOLDEN AGE, THAT TENREIRO’S PREMATURE RETIREMENT SYMBOLIZES. THE 1964 MILITARY COUP HAS SLOWLY LED THE COUNTRY TO AN ECONOMIC CRISIS, WOOD RESOURCES ARE RUNNING OUT AND JACARANDA IS DECLARED UNEXPORTABLE. BAD-TEMPERED AND RECLUSIVE, TENREIRO WOULD BE FORGOTTEN IN THE 1970'S, AND IT WAS ONLY A FEW MONTHS BEFORE HIS DEATH ON JUNE 21ST, 1992, THAT TENREIRO WOULD BE HONORED WITH A RETROSPECTIVE AT RIO DE JANEIRO'S DESIGN CENTER.

JOAQUIM TENREIRO i FOLDING SCREEN, C. 1960 i JACARANDA i 228CM X 160CM

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JOAQUIM TENREIRO I CADEIRA TRES PES, 1949 i FIVE TIMBERS I 60CM X 55CM X 74CM

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