Lina Bo Bardi (1914–1992) was born Achillina di Enrico Bo in Rome in 1914 and moved to Brazil in 1946, on something of a whim after marrying art dealer and journalist Pietro Maria Bardi. Brazil became her adopted home, a place where she was free to make provocative announcements ("I have never faced any obstacles, even as a woman, That's why I say I am Stalinest and anti-feminist.") while designing some of the country's most vanguard modernist architecture of the 20th century.
Extending her European architectural training, Bo Bardi "continued to work with industrial materials like concrete and glass, [while] popular building materials and naturalistic forms to her design palette, striving to create large, multiuse spaces that welcomed public life." She achieved recognition relatively late in life—the first exhibition of her work in Brazil took place in 1989, when Bo Bardi was 74—and the first comprehensive study of her work and achievements is being published now, in 2013. Lina Bo Bardi by Zeuler R. M. de A. Lima, with foreword by Barry Bergdoll, is out this month from Yale Press. Lima is the foremost scholar on Bo Bardi and frames the volume by discussing the architect’s activities on two continents and in five cities. Buy it here.
Kelsey Keith has written about design, art, and architecture for a variety of print and online publications.