Geraldo de Barros arm chairs Unilabor Brazil 1950






Geraldo de Barros

Brazil 1923 – 1998
Painter, photographer and designer

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Stunning minimalistic armchairs by Geraldo de Barros and manufactured by Unilabor in Brazil, 1950. These chairs have a black painted tubular metal frame with subtle placed brass feet. On the horizontal steel structure on the front are two streched square rose-wooden armrests which show a nice grain. The chairs seat and back have a tapered form and are rounded at the edge giving them a soft appearance especially with the reupholstery in a warm brown velvet mohair. The chairs have there original paper label from Unilabor at the underside which we kept open so their originality is fully visible.


Kindly note that the chairs are priced and sold in a set of 2.


Literature; Brazilian Modern Design Alberto Vicente Marcelo Vasconcellos 2017, page


The most profound conceptual experience in the production of modern furniture in Brazil was led by Geraldo de Barros, a major artist of the Concrete Art movement in the country. Interested in new technologies and processes, Geraldo’s career was consistently permeated with artistic experiments, particularly in photography and painting. His affiliation with design was influenced by the “gute form” principle advocated by Max Bill. Bill was the founder of the Ulm School of Design, which considers that beauty results from function and that objects should be a vehicle to bring art from museums into homes. At the invitation of Dominican friar João Batista in 1954, Geraldo was one of the founders of Unilabor, a furniture factory that operated in the model of a worker’s self-managed cooperative. He was responsible for designing the furniture. In order to rationalise the production system, he developed a line of products that shared many components in common.


This can be perceived in the regular and geometric planes and lines evident in the shelves and sideboards of modular structure, which originate from another of Geraldo’s central references: the Gestalt theory. Geraldo de Barros designs were imbued with social and political beliefs. These beliefs came from his Christian humanist ideals and from the modern utopia of technical progress, added to his conviction that the artist should play a social role and contribute to the transformation of everyday life. In 1964, months after he stopped working with Unilabor, Geraldo started another furniture enterprise: Hobjeto. Here he deepened the modular concept, personalising the products to suit his clients, offering them tailored projects that allowed them to combine a number of modular components. Geraldo resigned from his position as director of Hobjeto in 1979, when he suffered the first of a series of strokes that left part of his body paralyzed. Starting in 1983, with the help of a joiner, he created more than 200 pieces made of plastic laminate in the Hobjeto plant. The pieces were based on geometric structures, in a series called Jogos de Dados, a reference to his Concrete Art paintings from the 1950s.


Like all our upholstered pieces these can also be newly upholstered to your admiration. Ask our experienced upholstery department for an affordable quote for the item you want customized. We only use the best quality fabrics, foam, and materials for all our items. With the reupholstery we will always keep the originality in mind so the piece doesn’t lose its value and will be ready for years of use again.

Designer: Geraldo de Barros
Type: Arm chairs
Manufacturer: Unilabor
Year: 1950
Country: Brazil
Materials: Metal, rosewood, velvet
Condition: Very good, newly upholstered
Height: 77/43 cm
Width: 63 cm
Depth: 65 cm
Item nr: SAF22NO04

Holland / Belgium: € 50
Europe: € 150 - 750
Outside Europe: € 900 - 1850

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