Vitra Design Museum recently presented the exhibition, titled Antibodies, which included the works of Fernando & Humberto Campana from 1989-2009. The Brazilian brothers have worked together as furniture designers in Sao Paulo since 1989. Humberto came to the partnership as a self-taught artist with a degree in law while Fernando had been trained as an architect. The first joint work of this unequal pair – brutalistic, surrealistic furniture sculptures – caused a sensation in the Sao Paulo art scene right from the start. Over the past twenty years, they have established themselves among the most well-known and successful designers of our times, implementing their distinctive and individual language of objects in a tremendously wide-ranging oeuvre of furniture, lighting and installations that has been recognized in numerous publications and exhibitions. More images and information after the break.
Through a series of exceptionally successful seminars that the Campanas conducted for its summer workshop program, the Vitra Design Museum established a close relationship with the pair. This association provided the basis for the preparation of this major retrospective offering an overview of their most important works as well as their background. The exhibition highlights the characteristicsof an oeuvre whose preoccupation with recycling, the melding of natural and artificial materials and the simultaneity of cultures sketches out a fascinating picture of our time.
From the early days up to the present, their work has navigated a narrow path between design and pure art und spawned the most astonishing collages of objects and materials: “It’s a kind of flirt with the material which stands up asking: what can we be transformed into? The material dictates the form and the function in our work.” Thus the exhibition devotes special attention to the Campanas’ working method, which is influenced by various sources of inspiration – the exuberant nature of Brazil’s primeval forests, the improvisations of street hawkers and the shacks of the slums, as well as film, music and fine art.