The Roberto Burle Marx exhibition at the NY Botanical Garden celebrates Brazilian modernism

An aerial view of the modernist garden at the New York Botanical Garden “Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx”. Photograph courtesy of New York Botanical Garden.

The exuberance of Brazilian modernism is now on full display in the Bronx as “Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx” opens Saturday, June 8 at New York Botanical Garden. The largest botanical exhibit ever mounted by the NYBG, it combines a horticultural tribute to Burle Marx—one of the most important Brazilian artists and landscape painters of the 20and century – with insight into his vibrant artwork and textiles and his advocacy for plant conservation.

To accomplish this, the NYBG converted a lawn outside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a lush modernist garden, replicating the bold designs of Burle Marx via stunning black-and-white patterned paths, curvilinear flowerbeds and a large water feature that recreates the look of the one the designer installed at Banco Safra’s headquarters in Sao Paulo. Visitors stroll among palm trees, elephant ears, bromeliads, coleus and other plants that Burle Marx used in his garden designs.

The modernist garden replicates the bold patterns and curvilinear flowerbeds that Roberto Burle Marx favored during his prolific landscape career. Photograph courtesy of New York Botanical Garden.

The indoor explorer garden extends the journey into the world of the South American rainforest, while the water garden highlights Burle Marx’s use of plants from various regions and includes a mix of water lilies NYBG as well as tropical water lilies favored by the landscaper. Raymond Junglesa Miami-based landscape architect who was a protege of Burle Marx in the 1980s and early 1990s, designed the three gardens for the NYBG.

“It’s the biggest living exhibit we’ve ever done,” said Todd Forrest, Arthur Ross vice president for horticulture and living collections at NYBG, “but it was in line with the larger spirit than Nature by Roberto Burle Marx.”

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The modernist garden is a tribute to Roberto Burle Marx and includes a water feature recreating the look of that of the Brazilian designer installed in the Banco Safra in Sao Paulo. Photograph courtesy of New York Botanical Garden.

In the art gallery of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, a collection of landscape drawings, paintings, drawings and textiles by Burle Marx is exhibited, and in the rotunda the appearance of his house – where he loved entertaining guests with elaborate dinners – is recreated, allowing visitors to draw parallels between his artistic vision and his horticultural passion. Burle Marx’s work is vibrant and abstract, and his gardens and public spaces are striking in their use of bold, sensuous curves.

Works by Robert Burle Marx are on display in the Art Gallery of the Lu Esther T. Mertz Library in the New York Botanical Garden. Photograph courtesy of New York Botanical Garden.

“Roberto Burle Marx was a total work of art,” said Edward J. Sullivan, Ph.D, Helen Gould Shepard Professor of Art History and Deputy Director of the Institute of Fine Art at the University of New York, who organized the gallery. exposure.

Roberto Burle Marx in his studio in Sitio, outside Rio de Janeiro, which has been recreated in the rotunda of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library at the New York Botanical Garden. Photograph courtesy of New York Botanical Garden.

Burle Marx, born in 1909 and died in 1994, was a major figure in the modernist art and gardening movement in Latin America in the second half of the 20and century. He created more than 3,000 landscape projects during his long career, including the hilly landscape portuguese stonepromenade along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro and the patterned sidewalk along Key Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, which was not installed until a decade after his death.

“Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx,” which also features Brazilian music and dance performances, runs through September 29, 2019.

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