Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat addresses the life, work, and legacy of the Italo-Brazilian architect, designer, curator, museum director, writer, editor, and set designer. Bo Bardi is known internationally for the design of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (1968) and SESC Pompéia (1982), a leisure center for workers in the same city. Through a selection of drawings, photographs, and original furniture designs, the exhibition presents her work as a practice that modified the canon of modern architecture in Brazil and the educational role of the museum by incorporating other knowledges taken from her approach to popular culture.
The exhibition takes its title from Habitat magazine—founded by Bo Bardi and her husband Pietro Maria Bardi, and edited by them between 1950 and 1953—and presents Lina as a radical culture figure of the twentieth century who critically participated in a process of unlearning from Western knowledge through her multiple engagements in the expanded fields of cultural practice.
Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992) studies architecture in Rome, her natal city. Arriving to Brazil in 1946 at the age of 32, Bo Bardi quickly immersed herself in the country’s diverse cultures to create a new design language from the unique perspective of her experience, especially influenced by the time spent in Salvador, Bahia.
Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat is co-organized by MASP, Museo Jumex, and the MCA Chicago. It was on view at MASP from April 5 through July 28, 2019, and will travel to Chicago in June 2020. The exhibition will also present a selection of works from the MASP Collection, displayed on the iconic glass easels designed by Bo Bardi for MASP’s Picture Gallery, along with a recreation of A mão do povo brasileiro from 1969.
Exhibition organized by Julieta González, independent curator and researcher, José Esparza Chong Cuy, Executive Director and Chief Curator at Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, and Tomás Toledo, Chief Curator at MASP.
Coordinated at Museo Jumex by Cindy Peña, Curatorial Assistant, Museo Jumex.
Image: Lina Bo Bardi at the construction of MASP on Avenida Paulista next to the prototype of the glass easel with reproduction of Vincent van Gogh’s The Schoolboy in 1967. Collection Instituto Bardi / Casa de Vidro. Photo: Lew Parrella