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Roberto Burle Marx

 (1909 - 1994)
Roberto Burle Marx was active/lived in Brazil.  Roberto Marx is known for painting.

Roberto Burle Marx

Biography from Dorotheum, Vienna

From Sao Paolo, born as the son of a Brazilian mother and a German father, Robert Burle Marx moved to Berlin in 1928.  In the Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden, he became acquainted with the exotic fauna of South America from a new angle and developed a lively interest in the charm and diversity of vegetation of his Brazilian home where European plants were en vogue.

In autumn 1929 he returned to Rio de Janeiro to pursue studies at the art academy there.  But the love of the plants would not let him go, and so in 1932 he was commissioned in Rio to design a garden for the Schwarz family, together with the architects Gregory Warchavchic and Lucio Costa, the pioneers of Classical Modernist Brazil.  Thus began his meteoric career.

In 1938, with the Ministry of Teaching and Education, South America's first modern skyscraper was created in Rio de Janeiro.  Le Corbusier was in charge of the works, and he brought together the best architects of Brazil for the project.  Burle Marx was commissioned to design the outdoor facilities.  This was followed by public and private facilities throughout Brazil.

In the Fifties and Sixties there was the construction of the new capital, Brasilia, under then President Juscelino Kubitschek, which was among the greatest challenges in his life.  Burle Marx planned almost all the outdoor facilities of the public buildings and, together with Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer, composed the structures of the free space of the new capital.

Moreover, Burle Marx traveled extensively, and gardens and squares in all of South America were created based on his plans.  In the US, he planned several facilities with the architects of Classical Modernism, Mies van der Rohe and Richard Neutra.  At the same time Roberto steadily further developed his artistic work, which was reflected in exhibitions around the world.

In 1957 he exhibited at the Brussels World’s Fair, in 1970 he had his own pavilion at the 25th Venice Biennale.  In addition to his gardens and facilities, he never neglected his painting, be it in oil, tempera or graphic art.  The paintings evolved from the figurative to Cubism to the magnificent colors and shapes, abstract images, which are typical of Burle Marx.  (Bernd Krüger, Jürgen Lehnhoff, Hubert Möhrle: Roberto Burle Marx, in: Garten + Landschaft, 9/89)

In 1991 the Museum of Modern Art in New York has shown a retrospective under the title The Unnatural Art of Garden.

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About  Roberto Burle Marx

Born:  1909
Died:   1994
Known for:  painting