"Lina Bo Bardi - Giancarlo Palanti. Studio d'Arte Palma 1948-1951": this, the title of the exhibition that recently opened its doors at the Design Museum Gent of Ghent in Belgium. The exhibition is organised by the Belgian museum in collaboration with the Bardi Institute / Casa de Vidro Lina Bo Bardi in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2018, on the occasion of the Milan Salone del Mobile, the same exhibition was hosted by the local Nilufar art gallery founded by Nina Yashar.
The Italian-born Brazilian Lina Bo Bardi is known for her multifaceted personality: architect, writer, set designer, illustrator and furniture designer. The current exhibition hosted by the Design Museum Gent and set to run until February 16, 2020 is dedicated precisely to this emblematic figure of 20th century architecture. In particular, the exhibition focuses on the furniture pieces designed by Lina Bo Bardi between 1948 and 1951 in the Estúdio de Arte and Arquitetura Palma art studio, founded with Italian architect Giancarlo Palanti. What makes the exhibition even more interesting is that the studies carried out in preparation for the exhibition also made it possible to clarify the role that architect Giancarlo Palanti played in designing the furniture. Thanks to this research it was in fact discovered that a number of pieces, so far attributed exclusively to Lina Bo Bardi, were actually the result of a close collaboration between the two architects. The exhibition has therefore also become an opportunity to attribute due merit to the largely forgotten work of the Italian architect.
The scenographic project of the exhibition, characterised by a sophisticated and simple style, was entrusted to the Italian Space Caviar studio founded by architects Joseph Grima e Tamar Shafrir, who in turn were inspired by Lina Bo Bardi’s project for the Espirito Santo do Cerrado Church in Brazil. The furnishings, for the most part consisting of chairs, armchairs, tables and desks designed by Lina Bo Bardi and Giancarlo Palanti, are displayed on platforms built with simple exposed brick blocks. The different size pedestals (including vertically), directly correlate to the individual pieces of furniture or to the furniture group exhibited and define the visiting route.
A series of archival photos complete the exhibition, inviting visitors to discover the world of Lina Bo Bardi. The first part of Lina Bo Bardi’s professional activity in Italy was marked by a pragmatic rationalism and modernism, followed, in later years, by the strong power exercised over the artist by Brazil’s landscapes, natural materials and rich culture of the country that had adopted her. The exhibition itinerary also includes the documentary film titled "Precise Poetry" directed by Belinda Rukschcio , which collects a series of interviews given by friends and colleagues of the Italian-Brazilian architect on the eve of the centenary of her birth. Through the words of those who knew her, the personal anecdotes, as well as the social and political aspects of the artist’s work, visitors can immerse themselves in the world of Lina Bo Bardi. An invitation that also has a "physical" aspect, as to watch the documentary visitors are invited to sit on one of the artist’s famous projects, the Bowl Chair designed in 1951 for her Casa de Vidro. The chair consists of a hemispherical seat, supported by a metal structure composed of a ring held up by four feet. The seat is not fixed but can be adjusted in different directions, allowing it to adapt to the position preferred by the person using it.
Title: Lina Bo Bardi - Giancarlo Palanti / Studio d’Arte Palma 1948 — 1951
Date: 25.10.2019 – 16.02.2020
Location: Design Museum Gent, Jan Breydelstraat 5, 9000 Gent – Belgium
Photo Furniture: (8 – 11) Danile Iodice; (12 - 21) Ruy Texteira, courtesy: Nilufar Gallery, Milan
Courtesy of Design Museum Gent: Installations views (1, 4 – 7), Lina Bo Bardi Portraits (2 – 3).