Burle Marx – Patterns – The African Connection

Undulating black and white stripes-geometry patterns – Africa – Tanzania – Zanzibar – Stone Town – UNESCO heritage –  Fashion – Rio de Janeiro – Copacabana – Streetscaping – Landscaping

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– Zanzibar Fashion 1900

– more Zanzibar Fashion 1900

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Zanzibar Fashion  1900 ca. – Images: screenshots from THWC-Collections

 

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“Roberto Burle Marx, 1909 – 1994, was, from the 1950’s on, responsible for laying out most of Rio de Janeiro’s coastel parks, gardens and promenades. Created largely on reclaimed land, these provide a “cordon sanitaire” between the city and the spectacular beaches”.

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Rio de Janeiro – Copacabana – Avenida Atlântica

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Avenida Atlântica – stone wave pattern     image: egardens.blogspot.com

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Flamengo – Museum of Modern Art     image: egardens.blogspot.com

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Flamengo – wave pattern, stone     image: egardens.blogspot.com

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Flamengo – Park     image: egardens.blogspot.com

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Playing with Bananas

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serialized ‘Banana Pattern’

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‘Banana Pattern’

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arranged Bananas

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single Bananas

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9 thoughts on “Burle Marx – Patterns – The African Connection

  1. Ben – you’ve made an interesting connection – there is an uncanny similarity in the designs. Have you come across any evidence that Burle Marx was directly influenced by the Zanzibar fashions?

    • Malcolm – that Roberto Burle Marx was directly influenced by the ‘Zanzibar fashion’ I don’t know – what we know is, that 1920’s modern art was strongly influenced by African art – and that Burle Marx was studying painting in Berlin from 1928 to 1929 – compliments to your blog – yours, ben

  2. Hy Ben. Although Burle Marx be a great Brazilian landscape, I’m pointing out that the pattern was not created by Burle Marx to Copacabana, but tailored for him. The design is used since 1906 when the Central Avenue was construct in Rio de Janeiro. The Atlantic Avenue has this pattern since 1957, but paralelly to sea. The first floor Brazilian to this pattern was the São Sebastião Square, in Manaus, Amazonas, built in 1901, but designed for the site since 1880. The reference standard of this place was to Rossio Square in Lisbon.

    Copacabana e Burle Marx
    julho 29th, 2013 | Posted by Barbara i.W. Prado

    É freqüente ouvirmos que o padrão da paginação de piso de Copacabana tem a autoria de Burle Marx. Certamente Burle Marx concebeu o projeto paisagístico da Avenida Atlântica, mas o padrão das ondas, em branco e preto em pedras portuguesas, também chamado de marlargo, foi uma recriação.
    A mesma avenida já tinha suas ondas, como bem ilustra a imagem do calçadão em 1957, aplicadas paralelamente ao mar. Considerando vários períodos, notamos que a direção das ondas da calçada de Copacabana foi variável. Ora longitudinal, à linha da costa, ora transversal, permanecendo na longitudinal nos últimos 45 anos.

    O padrão já havia sido utilizado na paginação de piso da Avenida Central no Rio de Janeiro, em 1906.
    (Foto montagem extraída de um viral sobre o rio que queria ser paris, autor não identificado)
    E antes dele, no primeiro piso brasileiro com esse padrão, o do Largo de São Sebastião em Manaus, Amazonas, que foi construído em 1901, mas idealizado para o local desde 1880. (Fonte: Wiil Ferreira, Foto – Praça São Sebastião. Fonte: http://blogdowillferreira.blogspot.com.br/2011/06/calcadao-do-teatro-amazonas-e-o.html – A referência deste padrão oriunda da Praça do Rossio, em Lisboa, foi disseminada pelo Brasil.)

    As ondas em branco e preto, são, portanto, um padrão paisagístico tradicional português que recebeu uma releitura de Roberto Burle Marx, em 1969. A reaplicação por Burle Marx demonstra que ele não refutava em seus projetos a influência portuguesa da cultura brasileira. Ao contrário, a destacava.

    En 1970 el ensanche, por sobre el mar, de las veredas de Copacabana lo pondrá en un nuevo desafío. Cinco kilómetros de veredas dibujadas como un “cuadro abstracto” para la ciudad. Aquí pone de manifiesto su búsqueda estética en las culturas indígenas, en el pasado colonial y en las raíces mismas del Brasil. Es Copacabana un símbolo pleno para los cariocas, es la coherencia y el compromiso social de un artista para con su ciudad y su gente (RUIZ, 2002).

    O que este estudo deseja ressaltar é que o projeto de Roberto Burle Marx para a praia de Copacabana ultrapassa a largura do calçadas ao longo da praia. Ele abraça quase 5 quilômetros da orla com uma faixa de quase 80 metros de largura. É a todo este contexto que devemos apreciar, uma das maiores obras paisagísticas do Brasil.

    Copacabana Waterfront and Burle Marx
    Although Burle Marx be a great Brazilian landscape, I’m pointing out that the pattern was not created by Burle Marx to Copacabana, but tailored for him. The design is used since 1906 when the Central Avenue was construct in Rio de Janeiro. The Atlantic Avenue has this pattern since 1957, but paralelly to sea. The first floor Brazilian to this pattern was the São Sebastião Square, in Manaus, Amazonas, built in 1901, but designed for the site since 1880. The reference standard of this place was to Rossio Square in Lisbon.

    Posted in : Arquitetura Paisagística
    Tags:http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5449-5024

  3. Dear Mr. Ben Huser

    My name is Andreia Oshiro, I’m a Brazilian architect doing a Master course in south Germany. I’m researching about Roberto Burle Marx and found your interesting post about the African patterns, mosaics in Copacabana and the banana pattern. I would ask you if you also know about the artistic influence that Burle Marx received during his time in Berlin.
    Thank you for your attention and hope to hear from you soon.
    Kind regards,
    Andreia

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen
    Andreia Oshiro Gama

    International Master of Landscape Architecture
    Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Umwelt Nürtingen

  4. Hello Ben. Is a very very interesting and long discussion… I am curious about who is the artist that used the bananas?

    • Olá Luciana,

      some years ago I worked in Africa and found the fashion pictures with the undulated patterns – then I worked in Rio de Janeiro and walked on the famous pavings by Burle-Marx with the pattern shown on the african images – and one day, I was playing around with bananas, taking pictures of the arrangements;

      saudações,
      ben

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