Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist at The Jewish Museum, May 6 – September 18, 2016

“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 is best known for his iconic seaside pavements on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach, and for his abstract, geometric garden designs. But his work encompasses an enormous range of artistic forms and styles: Burle Marx was a painter and sculptor; a designer of textiles, jewelry, theatre sets, and costumes; a ceramist and stained-glass artist. He was an avid art collector, a talented baritone, a consummate cook, and a visionary self-taught botanist and ecologist. For him, all these endeavors were equally important, facets of one another.” — The Jewish Museum

Roberto Burle Marx with Le Corbusier during a luncheon in the architect’s honor at the home of Burle Marx, 1962.

Roberto Burle Marx with Le Corbusier during a luncheon in the architect’s honor at the home of Burle Marx, 1962. © Burle Marx Landscape Design Studio, Rio de Janeiro. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.

Roberto Burle Marx, Woman in a Pink Slip, 1933, oil on canvas, 39 ¾ x 28 in. (101 x 71.1 cm). Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro.

Roberto Burle Marx, Woman in a Pink Slip, 1933, oil on canvas, 39 ¾ x 28 in. (101 x 71.1 cm). Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro. Image provided by Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro.

Roberto Burle Marx, Garden of Casa Forte (City Hall), Recife, 1935, ink and pencil on paper, 19 x 28 ¾ in. (48.3 x 73 cm). Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro.

Roberto Burle Marx, Garden of Casa Forte (City Hall), Recife, 1935, ink and pencil on paper, 19 x 28 ¾ in. (48.3 x 73 cm). Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro. Image provided by Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro.

Roberto Burle Marx, cover design for the magazine Rio, 1953, gouache on paper, 13 x 10 ? in. (33 x 28 cm). Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro

Roberto Burle Marx, cover design for the magazine Rio, 1953, gouache on paper, 13 x 10 ⅞ in. (33 x 28 cm). Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro. Image provided by Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro.

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909–1994), costume design for Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka: Ballerina, 1954, gouache on paper, 13 ? × 9 ? in. (33.9 × 23.8 cm). Private collection, Rio de Janeiro

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909–-1994), costume design for Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka: Ballerina, 1954, gouache on paper, 13 ⅜ × 9 ⅜ in. (33.9 × 23.8 cm). Private collection, Rio de Janeiro.

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909–1994), Carnival study, Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, c. 1960s. Graphite, gouache, and collage on paper. Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro.

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909–-1994), Carnival study, Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, c. 1960s. Graphite, gouache, and collage on paper. Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro. Image provided by Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro.

Installation view of Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist, May 6 Ð September 18, 2016.

Installation view of Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist. Tapestry for Santo André Civic Center, Wool, 1969. Prefeitura de Santo André, São Paulo.

Installation view of Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist, May 6 Ð September 18, 2016.

Installation view of Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist, May 6 – September 18, 2016.

Roberto Burle Marx, design for the Minister’s Rooftop Garden, Ministry of Education and Health, Rio de Janeiro, 1938, gouache on paper, 20 ½ x 41 ? in. (52.1 x 105.1 cm). Burle Marx Landscape Design Studio, Rio de Janeiro.

Roberto Burle Marx, design for the Minister’s Rooftop Garden, Ministry of Education and Health, Rio de Janeiro, 1938, gouache on paper, 20 ½ x 41 ⅜ in. (52.1 x 105.1 cm). Burle Marx Landscape Design Studio, Rio de Janeiro. © Burle Marx Landscape Design Studio Rio de Janeiro. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.

Gardens of the Ministry of Education and Health, designed by Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro, 1938.

Gardens of the Ministry of Education and Health, designed by Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro, 1938. Photograph © Cesar Barreto.

Gardens of the Walter Moreira Salles residence, now the Instituto Moreira Salles, with Burle Marx’s azulejo tile wall and plantings around a fountain, 1951.

Gardens of the Walter Moreira Salles residence, now the Instituto Moreira Salles, with Burle Marx’’s azulejo tile wall and plantings around a fountain, 1951. Photograph © Cesar Barreto.

Victoria amazonica water lilies, garden of the Fazenda Vargem Grande, Clemente Gomes residence, Areias, designed by Roberto Burle Marx, 1979.

Victoria amazonica water lilies, garden of the Fazenda Vargem Grande, Clemente Gomes residence, Areias, designed by Roberto Burle Marx, 1979. © Burle Marx Landscape Design Studio, Rio de Janeiro. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.

Avenida Atlântica, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, pavement designed by Roberto Burle Marx, 1970

Avenida Atlântica, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, pavement designed by Roberto Burle Marx, 1970. © Burle Marx Landscape Design Studio, Rio de Janeiro. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909–1994), design for a mineral roof garden, Banco Safra headquarters, São Paulo, 1983, gouache on paper, 31 ¾ x 39 ¼ in. (80.6 x 99.7 cm). Burle Marx & Cia. Ltda., Rio de Janeiro.

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909-–1994), design for a mineral roof garden, Banco Safra headquarters, São Paulo, 1983, gouache on paper, 31 ¾ x 39 ¼ in. (80.6 x 99.7 cm). Burle Marx & Cia. Ltda., Rio de Janeiro. © Burle Marx Landscape Design Studio, Rio de Janeiro. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. Photograph by Cesar Barreto.

Roberto Burle Marx, mineral roof garden, Banco Safra headquarters, São Paulo, 1983

Roberto Burle Marx, mineral roof garden, Banco Safra headquarters, São Paulo, 1983. Photograph © Leonardo Finotti.

Installation view of Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist, May 6 Ð September 18, 2016.

Installation view of Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist, May 6 – September 18, 2016.

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909–1994), design for eight stained-glass windows for the Beit Yaakov Synagogue, Guarujá, 1985 (unexecuted), with Haruyoshi Ono, acrylic on paper, 68 ? x 10 ¼ in. (1.73 x 26 cm) each. Vicky & Joseph Safra Foundation, São Paulo.

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909-–1994), design for eight stained-glass windows for the Beit Yaakov Synagogue, Guarujá, 1985 (unexecuted), with Haruyoshi Ono, acrylic on paper, 68 ⅛ x 10 ¼ in. (1.73 x 26 cm) each. Vicky & Joseph Safra Foundation, São Paulo. Reproduced with permission by Burle Marx Landscape Design Studio, Rio de Janeiro, image provided by Banco Safra, São Paulo, Brazil.

Installation view of Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist, May 6 Ð September 18, 2016.

Installation view of Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist, May 6 – September 18, 2016.

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909–1994), gold and carved tourmaline necklace, 1965. Collection of Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909–-1994), gold and carved tourmaline necklace, 1965. Collection of Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos.

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909–1994), gold and pink quartz ring, probably 1960s. Collection of Luisa Malzoni Strina

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909-–1994), gold and pink quartz ring, probably 1960s. Collection of Luisa Malzoni Strina. Photograph by Isabella Matheus, digital image © Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo.

Installation view of Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist, May 6 Ð September 18, 2016.

Installation view of Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist, May 6 – September 18, 2016.

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909–1994), hand-painted tablecloth, 1989, 63 x 217 ½ in. (160 x 552 cm). Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro.

Roberto Burle Marx (Brazilian, 1909–-1994), hand-painted tablecloth, 1989, 63 x 217 ½ in. (160 x 552 cm). Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro. Image provided by Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro.

Roberto Burle Marx painting a tablecloth in the loggia of his home, 1980s; the azulejo tile walls and chandelier composed of fruit and flowers on a metal armature are his work.

Roberto Burle Marx painting a tablecloth in the loggia of his home, 1980s; the azulejo tile walls and chandelier composed of fruit and flowers on a metal armature are his work. Photograph © Tyba.

Images courtesy The Jewish Museum. Installation photos by David Heald © The Jewish Museum, NY.