Saturday, August 24, 2019

Gardens Resembling Works of Art

I’ve always been in awe of the creative works of Brazilian native, Roberto Burle Marx, a conservationist and legendary landscape architect who’s most noted for his wavy patterns on the sidewalk of Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. He used plants as anyone else would work with paint pigments to design gardens that are unique in their patterns, forms and color palette. I was delighted to recently visit the New York Botanical Garden that has a tribute to him -- “Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx: -- that’s open until September 29. It’s a must see whether you know anything about this legendary man or not. The exhibition, which includes tropical plants that are native to Brazil, is divided into four sections. The Modernist Garden has paths that are curvy as are the planting beds. Here you find elephant's ears, bromeliads as well as Caribbean and Brazilian palms. The Explorer’s Garden is lush with tropical rain forest plants such as philodendrons. The Water Garden has a whimsical wall dripping with staghorn ferns, as well as a large pool dotted with water lilies and other aquatic plants, including the Victoria amazonica whose leaves can grow as wide as nine feet. There’s also an indoor exhibition of his boldly-hued abstract textiles, drawings and paintings. As part of that exhibition, the Rotunda is where visitors are given insights into Burle Marx’s estate, referred to as the Sitio that served as his studio and home. The re-creation includes wall graphics that reference the hand painted blue and white tiles that line his studio’s walls.