Roberto Burle Marx (1909–1994) was one of the most influential landscape architects of the twentieth century, yet he is not a familiar figure outside of his native Brazil. He was a painter and sculptor; a designer of textiles, jewelry, theater sets, and costumes; a ceramicist and stained-glass artist. Interested in graphic design, tapestry, line, and shape, he was able to transfer those ideas and textures from paper and fabric to the ground in a completely new way. It was a brand new approach, hugely innovative and inspirational, as the artist was an early practitioner of a contemporary way of working: crossing genres fluidly, integrating art with political concerns such as ecology, and disregarding the traditional separation of fields of practice.
Born in São Paulo, his most iconic work amongst the hundreds he did was Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Promenade, completed in 1970. The 4 km (2.4 mi) sidewalk wave runs along Copacabana beach in a continuous stretch.
Burle Marx designed more than 2,000 public and private gardens around the world during his 62-year career. A new exhibit at New York’s Jewish Museum displays Brazilian landscape designer Burle Marx’s influence on today’s contemporary artists, such as Juan Araujo, Paloma Bosquê, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Luisa Lambri, Arto Lindsay, Nick Mauss, and the distinguished Brazilian painter Beatriz Milhazes, who challenges motifs of the tropics.
The exhibition is expected to travel to Berlin and Rio de Janeiro after its run in New York.
Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist
Jewish Museum, New York
6 May-18 September