Bottega Veneta celebrates Brazilian culture in São Paulo’s landmark modernist building, Casa de Vidro

Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta reveals the latest chapter of its ‘The Square’ project, a travelling cultural series that seeks to provide a dialogue with countries around the world

Casa de Vidro in Brazil, where Bottega Veneta is holding new events series
Casa de Vidro in São Paulo, Brazil, where Bottega Veneta is holding the latest edition of its ‘The Square’ series
(Image credit: Courtesy of Bottega Veneta)

Bottega Veneta’s ‘The Square’ is an ongoing cultural series which sees the Italian house temporarily decamp to locations around the world for multidisciplinary events that ‘inspire curiosity and dialogue’ while championing its pillars of ‘craft, creativity, and self-expression’. Inaugurated by current creative director Matthieu Blazy and in part inspired by the idea of a town square, previous editions have taken place in Dubai and Tokyo.

The latest arrives this month (May 2023) in São Paulo, Brazil, promising a genre-spanning celebration of Brazilian culture. This time, the custom square-shaped structures of the previous cities are replaced with Casa de Vidro, a landmark modernist home by Italy-born architect Lina Bo Bardi. Set amid a lush landscape – the structure was first built in Mata Atlantica, the original rainforest surrounding the city which is now one of its most exclusive neighbourhoods – it is recognisable for its stilted structure which allows the main glass-roomed space to hover amid the trees. ‘Casa de Vidro is one of my favourite places,’ says Blazy, who notes that the project also marks Bottega Veneta’s ten-year anniversary in the country.

Bottega Veneta’s The Square São Paulo 

Matthieu Blazy in Brazil

Bottega Veneta creative director Matthieu Blazy, who introduced ’The Square’ concept in 2022, outside Casa de Vidro

(Image credit: Courtesy of Bottega Veneta)

Not just the setting, Bo Bardi also provides inspiration for the programme, which focuses on her interaction with Brazilian culture – the country she moved to in 1946, and where she continued to live and work for the rest of her life (she died aged 77 in São Paulo in 1992). She became one of the leading figures in Brazilian modernism, best known for her projects in the fields of design and architecture but also a vivid and expressive writer and thinker. She co-founded art magazine Habitat and saw her work through a deeply political lens; creating at the intersection of modernity of tradition, she sought to dismantle the typical hierarchies of the mediums in which she worked. A 1969 exhibition curated by Bo Bardi at the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) was titled ‘The Hand of the Brazilian People‘ and displayed anonymously made works that spanned furniture, textiles, machinery and tools, elevating them to museum-worthy objects. MASP recently described it as ‘a radical gesture of decolonisation’.

‘From the modernist project to her embrace of the power of Brazilian popular culture and collaboration with the counterculture, Lina challenged norms and developed ideas that crossed chronological time like arrows and are, today, an essential perspective of Brazilian identity,’ says The Square São Paulo curator Mari Stockler. ‘With The Square São Paulo, we dive into her revolutionary thinking. The event is designed as a dialogue. We provoke time by contrasting Lina’s objects with works by modern and contemporary artists in an exchange between past, present, and possible futures.’

Inside of Casa de Vidro

The interior of Casa de Vidro, designed by Lina Bo Bardi

(Image credit: Courtesy of Bottega Veneta)

As such, the programme (running until 3 June 2023) includes a vast array of Brazilian creatives, including musical artists Arnaldo Antunes, Vivian Caccuri and Alaíde Costa, visual artists Luiz Zerbini, Carlito Carvalhosa and Rosana Paulino, and poet Ricardo Aleixo, among several others. Works by Lygia Pape, Hélio Oiticica, Augusto de Campos, Mestre Guarany and Surubim Feliciano da Paixão will also be on display, alongside Bo Bardi’s own works and writing (her original furnishings can also be viewed throughout the home).

’It’s a real inspiration to meet here with artists from across generations, across disciplines, and across Brazil to celebrate Lina Bo Bardi’s legacy and the richness of Brazilian culture. Bottega Veneta is all about timeless style,’ continues Blazy. ‘With The Square São Paulo, we recognise how Lina’s ideas and aesthetics resonate to this day, always reminding us of the transformative power of design and culture.’

The Square São Paulo is open to the public from 17 May to 3 June 2023.

Bottega Veneta talk in Sao Paulo Brazil

One of the program’s talks, featuring Ricardo Aleixo, Daniel Rangel, Lenora de Barros and Arnaldo Antunes

(Image credit: Courtesy of Bottega Veneta)
Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.