Fans of landscape architecture will have enjoyed the four month stay of an exhibit which opened in March at Paris’s Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine (Center for Architecture and Patrimony), honoring Roberto Burle Marx.
Son of a German Jewish émigré to Brazil, Burle Marx lavished his fertile imagination on applying modernist abstract art approaches to the native flora of Brazil’s jungles, to create humane gardens and related designs. From the tiled pavement along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro to a multitude of parks surrounding major public buildings, Burle Marx’s vision is inescapably part of modern Brazil.
Simultaneously with the opening of the exhibition in March, a revised, expanded edition of Jacques Leenhardt’s 1994 “In the Gardens of Roberto Burle Marx” was published by Les editions Actes Sud. Leenhardt’s book contains his fascinating interview with Burle Marx, in which the architect traces the impulse for garden design back to the Bible, to the Mesopotamian River whose fertility made it the “archetypal cradle of humanity, the place where Adam and Eve dwelled, Eden.”