Art, Art History, Exhibitions, Museum

ArtExhibition: Lina Bo Bardi in Madrid

Since 2009, Fundación Juan March started a series of exhibitions dedicated to Latin America, the first one was dedicated to Brazilian painter Tarsila do Amaral, the most emblematic artist of the Brazilian modernism. The exhibition presented through her art the Brazil of the decades of 20th century.

Now, almost ten years later, they bring the art and culture of Brazil back to Madrid, this time with Lina Bo Bardi, an Italian-born architect that adopted Brazil as her new homeland. Bo Bardi in Brazil in 1946 with her husband Pietro Maria Bardi, who was a collector and art critic.

She got very excited with all the artistic expressions of her new country and this combined with her dynamic personality (museographer, designer, writer, cultural activist) gave as result a mix of modern art and tradition, popular heritage and avant-garde creation, a work that can be classified in the middle of the individuality of the artist and the collective work of the people.

Lina Bo Bardi: tupi or not tupi. Brasil (1946-1992).

It is the first solo exhibition of Lina Bo Bardi in Spain. And one of the few that it isn’t delimited by her work as architect.

Preliminary study. Belvedere practicable sculptures at the Trianon Art Museum 

The name of the exhibition “tupi or not tupi. That’s the question” it is the most iconic line of the Anthropophagic Manifesto, an essay published in 1928 by Oswald de Andrade. The Manifesto plays with the modernists’ interest in primitivist cannibalism as an alleged tribal rite, and says that “cannibalizing” other cultures is a good strength present in the modern art of Brazil, because it becomes a way for Brazilian culture to assert itself against the post-colonial culture domination from Europe. This line is at the same time a celebration of the Tupi (one of the most numerous people indigenous of Brazil, who practiced certain forma of ritual cannibalism) and a metaphorical example of “cannibal” appropriation of Shakespeare’s quote.

While Bo Bardi lived in Brazil she incarnated a kind of cannibalism “on the contrary”, by transforming the art of the old world, place where she came from, through the gaze of the new world where she was living. The exhibition shows Bo Bardi standing out in front of a great fresco of Brazilian geography, population and culture. Inviting the visitor to know her travels, the cities where she lived, the buildings she built, the objects she collected and the exhibitions organized by her, moreover the friends she worked with.

The exhibition is organized as an open museum, presenting 348 pieces: drawings, paintings, photos, objects, sculptures, documents, handicrafts (most of them never seen outside Brazil). Inviting the visitor to discover the relations between Bo Bardi and the Anthropophagy and Tropicalismo of the 60’s in Brazil.

The only sad thing about the exhibition is that it is not allowed to take photos, only of a few works.

Practical Information:

Lina Bo Bardi. Tupi or not tupi. Brasil, 1946-1992: Fundación Juan March, Madrid (Spain). 5th October of 2018 – 13th January of 2019.



If I were born today, I would only collect loves, fantasies, emotions and joys.” Lina Bo Bardi

(“Se eu nascesse hoje, colecionaria somente amores, fantasias, emoções e alegrias”. Lina Bo Bardi)