Exhibitions Brazil

Lina Bo Bardi, the artist’s architect

Artists to create works for “discreet intervention” in São Paulo’s Glass House

The Glass House

SÃO PAULO. Hans Ulrich Obrist will curate an exhibition in São Paulo's "Glass House", the former home of Brazilian modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi, in 2012. "Lina is one of the great women architects of the 20th century, and her major contributions haven't been recognised enough," says Obrist, co-director of London's Serpentine Gallery.

"Exhibitions come through artists, and more and more have been talking to me about Lina: she's an artist's architect," says Obrist, adding: "Architects love her too. [Sanaa architect Kazuyo] Sejima put her at the centre of her Venice architecture biennale [in 2009]."

Between 15 to 20 artists and architects will be invited to create projects in the Glass House, says Obrist. "It's going to be an homage, and a discreet intervention in the house," he adds.

The artists will be both international and Brazilian. "I have such great enthusiasm for Brazil. It is in an extraordinary moment of optimism and has an incredible art scene," says Obrist.

Bo Bardi was born in Italy but moved to Brazil with her husband, the influential curator Pietro Maria Bardi, in 1946. She became a naturalised citizen in 1951, the same year in which construction of the Glass House was completed. Located on a 7,000-square-metre plot of land, it was the first residence in the Morumbi neighbourhood. It is surrounded by species from the Atlantic forest, and the garden is now a preserved example of old Brazilian forest.

Bo Bardi also designed the Museum of Art of São Paulo (Masp), one of the most important institutions in Brazil. Her creations were not limited to architecture: her design for the São Paulo building Sesc Pompeia also gave rise to her invention of the non-profit organisation of the same name which promotes cultural and educational activities in Brazil. She was also famed for the furniture and jewellery designs that she created until her death in 1992.

The project is the latest in a series of domestic interventions by über-curator Obrist. "These house exhibitions are something I have always done. I started my career as a curator in my kitchen," says Obrist. He adds: "Artists do different kinds of work than they would in a museum or bigger space. That sense of intimacy is important." He has previously staged exhibitions at London's Sir John Soane's Museum, as well as the homes of architect Luis Barragán in Mexico City, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in Sils Maria, Switzerland and poet Federico García Lorca in Granada, Spain.

This exhibition will be produced by Isabela Mora, international projects manager at the Fondation Beyeler, who worked with Obrist on the 2008 Lorca show.

The Glass House is now home to the Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi, which promotes Brazilian culture at home and abroad.


Lina Bo Bardi
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