Zanini de Zanine | Planos maciços

Zanini de Zanine – Solid Planes

Opening on 1 December for invited guests, the Luciana Caravello Arte Contemporânea exhibition “Solid Planes” will open for the public on the third of the same month. The show contains around thirteen previously unseen works by the award-winning designer Zanini de Zanine and will occupy the entire third floor of the gallery. The pieces were produced this year especially for the show, as part of a new research project, and are crafted by hand out of Brazilian timber from demolition sites, in accordance with traditional techniques.

The exhibition contains furniture—armchairs and benches—and a wall and table sculpture, all made of ipê-tabaco and red eucalyptus, in a manner that explores the specific physical and sensorial features of each species, in particular their color and texture. Ipê-tabaco, for example, has sturdy, clearly-defined veins, which feature prominently in the furniture. Despite their differences, the works on display form a coherent whole. “Some sculptures came out of the furniture and vice versa”, Zanini de Zanine explains.

As they are made of wood from demolition sites, in many cases the designer exploited the original geometry of the pieces to create new works based on the original geometry and the way shapes fit together. Zanini de Zanine notes that “the works are solidly geometrical and many of the angles derive from the way the original pieces were cut and fitted. Some, for example, were columns and the angles are reflected in the new pieces.”

One novelty is the use, for the first time by this artist, of cylindrical wooden pieces which appear to bore through the furniture. “These are unusual pieces, different from anything I have done before, with holes, which I use experimentally for dowelling of the wooden planes”, the designer says.

The exhibition also contains some multiple pieces that form part of a “contemporary translation of present-day objects”, as Zanini puts it. One example is the wooden sculpture “Rivotril”, which alludes to the medication that is much in vogue these days.


Zanini de Zanine was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1978 and grew up watching his father, José Zanine Caldas, work. He interned with Sergio Rodrigues, for whom he produced his first furniture. In 2002, he received a degree in Industrial Design from PUC-Rio.

Since 2003, he has been producing furniture in heavy wood, using timber from demolition sites—columns, beams and posts from old buildings—which he calls “Contemporary Carpentry”. As of 2005, he began a new line of industrially-produced furniture, using both controlled source wood and various other materials, such as plastic, methacrylate, metal, and parts of other industrial products. Zanini set up Studio Zanini in 2011 to promote this new line of furniture.

His furniture has received major awards in the field of Design, both in Brazil and around the world, and he has exhibited at prestigious national and international events. He now produces work for big national and international brands, such as Tolix in France, Cappellini, Slamp and Poltrona Frau in Italy, ESPASSO and others.

He was named Designer of the Year by Maison & Objet Americas 2015 and received recognition from the Philadelphia Museum of Art as one of the young contemporary designers who has contributed most to the field. Zanini de Zanine’s work is featured in museum collections in Europe, the United States and Brazil.


Luciana Caravello Arte Contemporânea was founded in 2011 and its main aim is to bring together artists of various kinds who work with different styles and subject matter, thereby reflecting the power of diversity in Contemporary Art. Since her time as an art dealer, Luciana Caravello has worked with both emerging artists and established figures and promotes experimentation and multimedia techniques, always seeking out new talent, with no discrimination as to nationality, gender or age.