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Mahnaz Collection Blog

Mahnaz Collection is a New York based fine vintage jewelry collection

Forma Livre - An Exhibition of Burle Marx Jewelry Opens This Week

Mahnaz Ispahani

In collaboration with WRIGHT, the leading Chicago-based modernist design auction house, we are pleased to present a collection of jewels by the brothers, Roberto Burle Marx and Haroldo Burle Marx, representing the best of Brazilian modernist design. Forma Livre The Jewelry of Brazil’s Burle Marx Brothers will be on view in the New York gallery of WRIGHT at 980 Madison Avenue. The exhibition opens June 2nd and will be on view through the 25th. Gallery hours are 11 am – 5 pm Tuesday – Saturday.

Featuring largely one-of-a-kind, hand-made, artist and fine jewelry pieces, the exhibition focuses on almost 60 works by Brazilian brothers who created exceptional jewels between the 1940s and 1980s: the prominent and stylish Rio jeweler, Haroldo Burle Marx, and the renowned polymath, landscape architect and maker of artist jewels, Roberto Burle Marx. In 1967, TIME magazine called the brothers, along with a third, Walter, “the most amazing and talented brother act in Brazil”. The magazine named Haroldo, the manufacturer of “ Brazil’s most exquisite jewelry”.

Burle Marx jewelry was known for its artistry and the use of a magnificent array of Brazilian colored gemstones in a pioneering forma livre, or free form style cut. A twentieth century Renaissance-style genius, Roberto Burle Marx (1909–1994) is renowned for landscape architecture and garden design, but he was also a painter, sculptor, textile designer, self-taught botanist and notable singer among many other talents. Recognized as “the real creator of the modern garden” by the American Institute of Architects in 1965, Roberto was a proponent of saving the rainforests. Over 50 plants species have been named for him. Haroldo Burle Marx was a specialist. This master jeweler, trained as a lapidary and gemologist, was for almost four decadesa coveted jeweler among the world's most prominent jewelry collectors, empresses, queens and other royals, movie stars and the social elite. The creations of the two Burle Marx brothers deserve renewed attention and appreciation in the world of jewelry.

"I can rarely turn away from a Burle Marx jewel - created by an artist and by a renowned fine jeweler. The innovative forma livre cut of the colored stones attracted my eye early.  These jewels are one-of-a-kind, sculptured beauties. They speak to nature, are finely-crafted, handmade, and rich in yellow gold and the fine color of exceptional Brazilian gemstones.  Roberto Burle Marx and Haroldo Burle Marx’s jewels are superb ambassadors of Brazilian modernist era jewelry. They deserve a new focus and to be more widely known.

— Mahnaz