Brazilian Modernist pieces from Found Collectibles, available through Incollect: Paulistana lounge chair and ottoman in suede with molded Brazilian rosewood shell, 1959 by Jorge Zalszupin; Adolpho credenza by Sergio Rodrigues, Brazilian rosewood with original black faux leather sliding door, black Formica top, circa 1960. Faux leather was preferred over natural leather because it was better suited to withstand the humid tropical climate in Brazil. Artwork from Nicholas Auvray Gallery: Clement Denis, Monolite I. Photo by Valeria Alarcón, DreamTap Media.


Rodrigo Salem Fuses 
Mid-Century Modern Brazilian Design with Contemporary Art for a Penthouse

by Benjamin Genocchio   

Rodrigo Salem, owner of Found Collectibles, a gallery specializing in mid-century modern Brazilian design recently partnered with the Nicolas Auvray Gallery to curate the interiors of an expansive Chelsea penthouse for a one-week show. The ambition, according to Salem, was to illustrate a simple point: “We aimed to showcase the coexistence of Brazilian mid-century modern collectible design with sleek architecture and contemporary fine art.” The result is an elegant, harmonious, stunning aesthetic fusion. 

Brazilian Modernist pieces from Found Collectibles, available through Incollect: 1950s Caviuna wood armchair with bouclé upholstery by Giuseppe Scapinelli; pair of ebonized Pau Marfim hardwood armchairs with white leather seats by Joaquim Tenreiro circa 1940s, and a Brazilian rosewood and marble coffee table, 1959 by Jorge Zalszupin. Artwork from Nicholas Auvray Gallery: Gerard Stricher, Pink in Blue and at right, Eric Ceccarini, Jaquelin Bozon 03. Photo by Valeria Alarcón, DreamTap Media. 


The apartment at 435 West 19th Street has loads of natural light. To complement this Salem says he chose a “warm color palette and cozy textures to create a welcoming, functional, and sophisticated space.” Much of the design on display celebrates craftsmanship with materials such as Brazilian rosewood, known as Jacaranda, and Caviuna (similar to walnut), leather, and rattan. Among the pieces are several iconic works of Brazilian modern design including the “Paulistana” lounge chair by Jorge Zalszupin and the “Cadeira de Três Pés” three-legged chair by Joaquim TenreiroGiuseppe Scapinelli is also represented, highlighting the Italian influence on Brazilian mid-century design. 

Left:  Cadeira de Três Pés three-legged chair by Joaquim Tenreiro. Right: Caviuna and brass side table by Guiseppe Scapinelli, circa 1950s. Photos by Valeria Alarcón, DreamTap Media. 

Nicolas Auvray Gallery provided all of the artwork and the curation was done together with Salem, aiming to complement the furniture. He chose a combination of painting, sculpture, and photography with the accent squarely on warm colors and surface texture and evenly split between abstract works and figuration. Highlights include Monolite 1, by Clement Denis, an imposing painting on paper of figures embracing, and Sfumato, by Claudie Laks, an atmospheric abstraction.