Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat is the first major retrospective of the life and work of multidisciplinary architect Lina Bo Bardi, featuring drawings, photographs, original furniture, projects for the home and for museum curation and display, as well as theatre designs. It also looks closely into her participation in the production of the modern cultural institutions in Brazil, especially her design of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) and the cultural center Sesc Pompéia.
As an Italian émigré in Brazil, Lina Bo Bardi cofounded the influential magazine Habitat with her husband Pietro Maria Bardi, and developed an innovative design philosophy that combined popular art with fine art. Recognizing the inability of a Western modernist perspective to capture the complexities of Brazil, Bo Bardi drew inspiration from Brazil’s local habitat to create a new and unique design language.
The exhibition is divided into four main sections, exploring Bo Bardi’s beginnings in Italy and arrival to Brazil, the founding of Habitat, rethinking of museums, and culminating in an exploration of an alternative modernism that combines elements of European design and popular culture from the Northeast of Brazil.