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.
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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.
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
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.
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
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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