Jorge Zalszupin Brazil, 1922-2020
Jorge Zalsupin is one of Brazil’s most important designers. His furniture is characterized by both geometric lines and organic shapes in combination with well-defined proportions, graceful lines and classical detailing.
JerzyZalszupinwas born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1922. In 1939 he escaped with his family to Bucharest where he studied architecture. At the end of the Second World War, his family moved to Northern France, where Jorge worked on the housing reconstruction. In 1949 he moved to Brazil, the only country that would grant an entry visa to his family. Zalszupin started to work with fellow countryman and architect Luciano Korngold in São Paulo.
In the late 1950s he acquired Brazilian citizenship and adopted the name ‘Jorge’. The 1950s saw the consolidation of the Brazilian modernist movement in art and architecture. Logically, in 1959, he established L’Atelier with the vision of creating a successful harmony between architecture and furniture. L’Atelier was a design collective that comprised architects, engineers and craftsmen as well as a full-scale team of professionals that did everything from researching materials to finalizing the product.
His designs were highly successful throughout Brazil, and L’Atelier showrooms became a benchmark of modernity. Zalszupin’s furniture reflects the combination of modern building standards (inspired primarily by the Scandinavian modernist school) with graceful lines, an exceptional sense of detail and the knowledgeable use of local woods.
His furniture earned him many commissions, including in Brasilia, where Oscar Niemeyer invited Jorge Zalszupin to be part of the team of talented furniture designers who collaborated on the conception and production of furniture for the new federal capital. The pieces he designed during this time incorporated the luxury of leather and combined it with classical Brazilian rosewood.