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Drawing by Sergio Rodrigues

Drawing by Sergio Rodrigues

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Artist Sergio Rodrigues designs an environment for a luxury apartment in Rio de Janeiro.

Study by the furniture designer Sergio Rodrigues. 43 cm x 30 cm. No information about the date. Average condition, design needs to be restored. Single piece.

That Brazil is known worldwide for its music, we already know. There are also many painters born in Tupiniquim lands who gained prominence around the globe, and even in architecture, national names are studied in universities around the world. However, not everyone knows that, also in design, Brazilian artists are world renowned. This is the case of Sérgio Rodrigues, a designer whose pieces were chosen by Lúcio Costa to furnish no less than Brasília. Rodrigues still won awards in several countries and transformed the design concept of his time.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1927, at the age of 20 Sérgio joined the faculty of architecture at the University of Brazil (FNA), in the capital of Rio de Janeiro. The student prodigy started working as an assistant professor even before finishing his graduation, and, in 1951, he received an invitation to participate in the elaboration of the project for the Civic Center of Curitiba, which is why he moved to the city where he created “Móveis Handcrafted from Paraná”. It was the beginning of his work focused on creating interior architecture, which would mark his career from that moment on. In subsequent years, Sérgio deepened his knowledge of the art of furniture and met renowned European designers who influenced the elegance of his line without, however, ever taking him away from his Brazilian roots.

Sérgio developed his own style that, in addition to winning numerous awards, created a national identity, strongly influenced by modernism. The Brazilianness was highlighted not only in his designs, but in the choice of traditionally local materials, such as leather, straw and wood, which exalted Brazilian culture from its indigenous origins. The mixture of international and indigenous trends can be seen in the visual study made by Sérgio, in which a photo and a drawing complement each other, highlighting traditional elements and ocher tones typical of local materials.

The most famous work of this great artist is the “soft armchair”, made of leather and wood. Its fitting and upholstery innovations are a reference in the industry to this day, and the original armchair is part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. With a variation of this design, Sérgio received first prize at the Concurso Internazionale del Mobile, in Cantù, Italy, a moment that leveraged his career internationally. Even so, Rodrigues never forgot Brazil, and the proof is that years later he opened a studio in Rio de Janeiro with the aim of selling furniture at affordable prices, bringing design within reach of the population.

A genius of creativity and aesthetics, Sérgio's illustration, which made his name in the history of world design, is a reminder of how our origins are an inexhaustible source of inspiration , and that, allied to discipline and studies, colors, national shapes and textures have the potential to leverage Brazilian art and culture to a prominent position within the international scenario.

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