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Folio: Roberto Burle Marx

The landscape architect and passionate ecologist’s paintings were brought to life in public parks and gardens across Brazil, including the distinctive promenade in Copacabana

19 roberto burle marx architectural review

19 roberto burle marx architectural review

Roberto Burle Marx is famous for his verdant, tropical gardens – sharp, globular flowerbeds overspilling with fronds and tendrils, serpentine paths and pools of still green water. Burle Marx was a passionate ecologist, lending his name to more than 50 plant species (the photo below was captured during a 1974 botanical expedition in Ecuador). ‘One may even think of a plant as a note’, he mused. ‘Played in one chord, it will sound in a particular way; in another chord, its value will be altered.’ Burle Marx was also a painter, sculptor, printmaker and musician. This gouache painting is a half-size study for a handwoven Aubusson tapestry, depicting a tangle of bodies morphing into puddles of earth and ochre – as easily a landscape plan for a sandy garden as a figurative painting 

19 roberto burle marx architectural review leaf

19 roberto burle marx architectural review leaf

This piece is featured in the AR October issue on Brazil – click here to purchase your copy today