Hugo Franca: The Story of the Tree



Brazilian artist Hugo França’s work is a potent reminder that magnificent objects can be fashioned from cast-offs. This catalog was published by R & Company when França’s work was exhibited at the gallery in 2008.

For the past 30 years, Hugo França has been creating monumental furniture and sculptural pieces from the remnants of the gigantic hardwood tree called Pequi, which he harvests from the fields and forests of south Bahia in Brazil. This publication presents the finished pieces and documents the laborious process by which França works with a team on the site where he finds the wood, marking and cutting the huge trunks, branches, and roots to reduce them in size for transport to his studio.

Evelise Grunow's informative text (in English and Portuguese) tells of França's discovery of the south Bahia area and his attraction to the subsistence living of the Brazilian first nation Pataxós, especially their handmade wood objects that retain the original features of the wood. This mode of working became the essence of his design philosophy: one that would embody his reverence for the tree.

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