Iconic Re-Issue: The Paulistano Armchair by Paulo Mendes de la Rocha Available at Espasso

If you happened to be a fan of Brazilian design, you’d surely know of the iconic Paulo Mendes de la Rocha—born in 1928, member of the so-called Brutalist movement, and chief auteur of São Paulo’s Brazilian Sculpture Museum. Similarly, if you happened to be in New York and in need of a Brazilian A&D fix, you’d know exactly where to go: Espasso, “conserving Brazil's rich 20th Century design heritage and promoting the work of today's leading designers,” is North America’s premier gallery of Brazilian design.

Paulistano chair. Designed by Paulo Mendes de la Rocha. Shown at Espasso.

Take It Outdoors with a Contemporary Updating of the Iconic Paulistano Chair

Paulistano Chair. Designed by Paulo Mendes de la Rocha. Shown at Espasso.

Back in 1957 de la Rocha designed Paulistano. Much in the style of the day, this minimalistic chair of tubular steel with a canvas or leather seat and back was comfortable, functional, and aesthetically hip. By embracing the “form is function” credo Paulistano managed to be simple and sublime at once—if the “Most Interesting Man in the World” ever sat down, surely he would sit in a Paulistano.

Paulistano Chair. Designed by Paulo Mendes de la Rocha. Shown at Espasso.

The news of the day is that the very same chair that once graced the venerated halls of the São Paulo athletic club can now adorn your backyard deck. The 2012 incarnation features an exceptionally durable carbon steel one piece frame, “available in black or, for the first time, white with a waterproof cotton slip cover weaved in Paris.”

Paulistano Chair. Designed by Paulo Mendes de la Rocha. Shown at Espasso.

Be it black or white, maroon or mauve, even pewter or teal, the prospect of the comfy cloth seat and simple, strong, and eminently portable frame of Paulistano perched poolside will tickle the fancy of even mild Mid Century enthusiasts. As the Most Interesting Man, might say, “I don’t always lounge in the backyard, but when I do, I prefer Paulistano.”

Paulistano Chair. Designed by Paulo Mendes de la Rocha. Shown at Espasso.

About the Distributor: Espasso is America’s premier purveyor of Brazil’s finer things. The Tribeca gallery is ground zero for modern and contemporary Brazilian furniture, “committed to conserving Brazil's rich 20th Century design heritage and promoting the work of today's leading designers.” Recent wares include the Parati Armchair and Ottoman by Carlos Motta and the Mole Armchair by Sergio Rodrigues: “As a premier resource for mid-century and contemporary design, ESPASSO has since the outset become a thriving outpost for interior designers, architects, artists, collectors and museums.”

Posted July 3, 2012 by Joseph Starr

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