Glass Experiences by the Campana Brothers


Brazilian designers Humberto and Fernando Campana present pieces developed with Italian glass brand Venini inside the former coach house at Waddesdon Manor in the UK.

Top: The Campana Brothers, Broken dreams, 2010, Wall lamps, Glass and steel © Estudio Campana
Above: The Campana Brothers, Turmalina, 2010, © Estudio Campana

Called Glass Experiences, the show includes three new projects with Venini: a chandelier made from fragments of coloured glass and tiny glass animals, a series of chandeliers incorporating figures based on Brazilian dolls, and a series of sculptures combining glass with rattan.

Above: The Campana Brothers, Esperança, 2010 (glass lamp) © Estudio Campana

The exhibition opens tomorrow and continues until 31 October.

Above: The Campana Brothers, Broken dreams, 2010, Wall lamps, Glass and steel © Estudio Campana

The information below is from Waddesdon Manor:


The world-renowned Brazilian designers, the Campana brothers (Humberto Campana, b. 1953 and Fernando Campana, b. 1961), will be the first to show new work in Waddesdon’s recently opened contemporary art and design gallery, The Coach House, from 1 May 2010.

Above: The Campana Brothers, Broken dreams, 2010, Wall lamps, Glass and steel © Estudio Campana

The Campana brothers are working with the famous Venini glass studio, based on the Venetian island of Murano, to create a collection of glass chandeliers, lighting and vases that will premier at Waddesdon. The exhibition coincides with the publication of a monograph on the Campana brothers’ career to date, published by Albion and Rizzoli with contributions from leading writers on design.

The most ambitious work in the collection is a unique chandelier made from multi-coloured fragmented Venini glass that will incorporate small glass animals of the type often seen in gift shops on Murano. The use of found materials is characteristic of the brothers’ work however the exhibition will include new glass works as well: seven cocoon shaped lights, called Lirio, made from Venini pink, aquamarine or green glass and rattan, a material, which has long fascinated the brothers; and Esperança, meaning hope in Portuguese, which describes a group of large chandeliers, around 55cm wide, that incorporate glass figures based on Brazilian fabric dolls.

Above: The Campana Brothers, Esperança, 2010 (glass lamp) © Estudio Campana

The brothers were the first Brazilian artists to show their work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, for which they worked with German lighting designer Ingo Maurer. It was the presence of Maurer’s specially commissioned contemporary chandelier at Waddesdon combined with its spectacular collection of 18th and 19th century chandeliers, which in part inspired the Campana’s collaboration with Waddesdon. Their own previous lighting pieces include the Prived Oca chandelier for Swarovski (2003) and works for their exhibition TransPlastic at Albion Gallery, London (2007).

Above: The Campana Brothers, Esperança, 2010 (glass lamp) © Estudio Campana

The Campana’s family emigrated from an area nearby Venice to Brazil several generations ago so it is appropriate that they have developed a close working relationship with the Venini studio, with whom they have worked with previously, and which itself has a history of working with some the most important artists and designers of the 20th-century including Carlo Scarpa and Ettore Sottsass.

Above: The Campana Brothers, Esmeralda, 2010, © Estudio Campana

The Campana brothers have been working together since 1983 and have received international acclaim for their furniture made from forging found materials with a combination of traditional craftsmanship and advanced technologies. Their work draws inspiration both from the exuberance of the Brazilian carnival and from the resourcefulness of daily life in Brazil; Fernando Campana says: “Sao Paolo is the largest informal recycling centre in the world”. We see cardboard, rope, fabric, wood, plastic tubes, stuffed animals and aluminium wire all put to new use in their fantastical creations. Their famous 1989 Vermelha chair, first shown at the Milan furniture fair, remains a best seller. Other well known pieces include the Banquete chair, made of stuffed toys, the Sushi series made from carpet pieces and the Favela chair made from found wood.

Above: The Campana Brothers, Broken dreams, 2010, Wall lamps, Glass and steel © Estudio Campana

The Campana’s exhibition, along with that of Jeff Koons’ Cracked Egg (Blue) (2006) in the Aviary, mark the launch of a new contemporary programme of art and design at Waddesdon. Visitors can currently see sculpture in the grounds of the house by Sarah Lucas, Angus Fairhurst and Stephen Cox and in the house are paintings by Lucian Freud and David Hockney and Ingo Maurer’s chandelier.

See also:


TransPlastic by
Campana Brothers
for Venini
All our stories about the Campana Brothers

Posted on Friday April 30th 2010 at 4:12 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • tanya telford – T

    good to see a National Trust house holding an exhibition of these guys work,

  • glass is so pretty. The way light hits and refracts from the surface can be so beautiful and be a great decorating tool

  • It’s amazing the way this duet translate via design the Brazilian culture.
    They’re work in HUMAN. Yes, Human – that’s the word I can find to describe it!!

  • bear

    Not really fresh…dissapointing

  • calvin

    very neat and SO beautiful

  • Tim

    Nice to see some origional designs, really stunning.

  • Kristopher Adams

    I always loved these guys. The rattan/glass mixture doesn’t really do it for me though. Or the rattan weaving with plastic chairs.

    It has been interesting though to see these guys develop from more commercial designs or products earlier on to a more craft orientated output of late. Not many designers develop that way (Marcel Wanders being a perfect example) but these have gone even further towards their roots.

    I love that.