Palm Springs Art Museum
Palm Desert
Edwards Harris Center

ANTIBODIES: THE WORKS OF FERNANDO AND HUMBERTO CAMPANA 1989 - 2009

An exhibition of the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany


11/10/12 - 02/24/13
Joseph Clayes III Wing
Palm Springs Art Museum

Even though their aesthetic sensibility elevates their work to another plane, the Campana brothers, Fernando and Humberto, consider themselves designers rather than artists because they create functional work. Paper, wire, plastic, fabric, felt, carpet, rubber, and wood are some of the materials they use in their series. Whimsical and contemporary, yet structurally complex, their work is influenced by Brazil’s unusual natural forms, the street life of the slums, as well as contemporary art, film, and music. Themes of globalization and sustainability weave through their exuberant and sensual work. Often using recycled materials, they fashion objects to create new forms. They call their process “a flirt with materials” since the material dictates the form and function of their work.

The Campanas’s career coincides with the international success of unique, custom-made and artistic designs which often go directly from the maker’s studio to private or public collections without ever being subjected to regular use. The brothers have worked together as furniture designers in São Paulo, Brazil, since 1989. Humberto is an artist with a law degree and Fernando is a trained architect. In the twenty years since they began their practice, they have built an international following through worldwide exhibitions, with their work collected by major museums, including MoMA and the London Design Museum.                  

The exhibition includes over seventy pieces of furniture plus prototypes, experiments, models, and artwork by the Campanas alongside films, interviews, photographs, and objects collected by the designers.

The Campanas’s Favela and Vermelha armchairs, both produced by the Italian furniture manufacturer Edra; the Banquete armchairs created by hand in small series in their São Paulo-based studio; as well as their inflatable table or the Plastico Bolha easy chair made of bubble wrap have all rapidly become icons of contemporary design. The Vermelha armchair, contains 500 meters of rope with an acrylic core, covered in cotton, and woven around a metal frame to form the design and the padding.

 The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, published by Vitra Design Museum in a bilingual English-German edition, available in the museum store.

This is an exhibition of the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany. 

The Palm Springs Art Museum presentation is funded in part by Annette Bloch, the museum’s Architecture and Design Council, Kirk & Anne Douglas, and Yvonne & Steve Maloney.

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Members only reception Friday, November 9