Lina Bo Bardi
4 February - 23 March 2014
Italian Lina Bo Bardi designed some of Brazil’s most iconic buildings in the mid-20th century.
People and their needs were at the heart of Lina Bo Bardi’s activities – during both her years in Italy and her time in Brazil. She was born in Rome in 1914, but after the Second World War she emigrated to Brazil, where she quickly became one of the country’s leading cultural figures. Among other things, she founded the art magazine Habitat together with her husband Pietro Maria Bardi. But it is as an architect that she has gone down in history.
As one of the biggest names in late modernism, she designed buildings such as Museu de Arte Popular do Unhão and the leisure centre SESC Pompéia, both in São Paulo. As an architect, she was mainly interested in how people use different places and buildings and take possession of them according to their own needs. She was deeply engaged in the construction processes and often visited workplaces to change something at the last moment. Alongside her life as an architect she also worked as a product designer, furniture designer and curator for various art exhibitions.
Inspired by local culture
Something happened in Lina Bo Bardi’s encounter with Brazilian culture. She appreciated the music, dancing and folklore in her new homeland. And in contrast with many contemporary architects, she recognised a value in the Brazilians’ traditional building methods. Her buildings are one result of that encounter. A lean, rationalist idiom is often combined with expressive, unexpected details, which gave her a unique place in architectural history.
She would have been 100 years old in 2014, and we celebrate this by displaying the UK-produced exhibition Lina Bo Bardi: Together. The exhibition presents an internationally acknowledged, influential, late modernist architect with whom few people in Sweden are familiar.
The exhibition is launched in connection with Stockholm Design Week and has been produced by curator and architect Noemi Blager. Installation by the Dutch artist Madelon Vriesendorp. Film installation by Tapio Snellman. The project is financed by the British Council and the design company Arper.