ROBERTO BURLE MARX: TABLECLOTH
AT ROOSTER GALLERY, 190 ORCHARD STREET, LOWER EAST SIDE, NYC
OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 6-8PM
EXHIBITION RUNS FROM JANUARY 26 – MARCH 4, 2012
Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994, Brazil) is recognized as one of the most influential – if not the most influential – landscape architects of the 20th century. “Tablecloth/Toalha” will be comprised of several late works, mainly executed during his stay in Constância at José Ramoa’s, an art dealer and collector with whom Burle Marx developed an intense friendship.
The exhibition is titled after a 141”x59” painted tablecloth specifically designed to fit Ramoa’s dining table. Just like another tablecloth on display at Sítio Burle Marx in Guaratiba, Rio de Janeiro, this work clearly demonstrates Burle Marx’s originality as a multifaceted artist whose work cannot be exclusively categorized as landscape architecture. Lauro Cavalcanti – curator of the retrospective exhibition “Roberto Burle Marx 100 anos: A permanência do Instável” – stated that Burle Marx “…painted every day in the morning and in the afternoon he did his gardens” and did not enjoy the fact that his paintings were relegated to a secondary position.
Also on display will be 12 india-ink works on paper, dated from 1973 to 1990, which reveal Burle Marx’s loose proficiency. While dispensing color – something inherently his due to his activity as a landscape architect – Burle Marx still follows the same provocative abstract morphology that characterized South-American art during the second half of the 20th century, providing the viewer some hints on issues like urbanism and landscaping. Along with these works some never before seen letters and photography of Burle Marx and Ramoa will be available.
“Tablecloth/Toalha” is an exhibition that wants to show Burle Marx’s activity not only as a landscape architect, but also as a prolific and inventive artist. In the end, one might question whether it is the architectural grammar that is present on Burle Marx’s paintings or the pictorial language that is present in his landscape projects.
Roberto Burle Marx was born in São Paulo in 1909 and died in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. Marx studied at the National School of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro where he became a close friend of Oscar Niemeyer with whom he would collaborate throughout his life, namely at the “Ibirapuera Park” (São Paulo, 1954) and at the “Monumental Axis” (Brasília, 1961). His most famous landscape projects are: “Flamengo Park” (Rio de Janeiro, 1965), the Copacabana promenade (Rio de Janeiro, 1970), “Inhotim Park” (Brumadinho, 1984), among others. Burle Marx’s works have been shown in the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (“Roberto Burle Marx,” 1973), The Museum of Modern Art, New York (“Roberto Burle Marx: The Unnatural Art of the Garden,” 1991), Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro (“Roberto Burle Marx 100 anos: A permanência do Instável,” 2008), New York Botanical Garden (“The Orchid Show: Brazilian Modern,” 2009) and his work is represented in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand; among others.
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