Geraldo de Barros bar cart Unilabor Brazil 1955






Geraldo de Barros

Brazil 1923 – 1998
Painter, photographer and designer

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Rare and minimalist bar cart designed by Geraldo de Barros and manufactured by Unilabor in Brazil, 1955. This bar cart is made from a minimalistic structure of a tubular steel frame painted in black and a rosewood veneer casing complemented by contrasting white paint and laminate accents. The cart features an open cube at the bottom that sits between the steel frame providing space for beverages. Positioned above are two trays that offer versatility allowing you to switch between white laminate and rosewood veneer surfaces. This ingenious design allows for four different aesthetic combinations which makes this a playful design. You can also take the trays off for serving. The upper section of the metal frame extends to serve as a handle for manoeuvring the bar cart around with ease. Completed with four chrome wheels, the entire construction is mobile. The original label remains partially preserved on the underside of the cart. The piece is in very good original condition.


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.

Designer: Geraldo de Barros
Type: Bar cart
Manufacturer: Unilabor
Year: 1955
Country: Brazil
Materials: Rosewood, metal, painted
Condition: Very good, original
Height: 80 cm
Width: 69 cm
Depth: 45 cm
Item nr: PF22NO04

Holland / Belgium: € Fre
Europe: € 150 - 450
Outside Europe: € 750 - 1250

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