Formal Registry II: Niemeyer
Tuesday March 31, 2015 to Friday May 1, 2015 Reception: Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, 9am - 5pm
3780 Wilshire Blvd. #800
Formal Registry II: Niemeyer

When: March 31, 2015 to May 1, 2015 -  Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Who: Artist/Curator  Bernardo Olmos, Affiliate AIA|LA
What: Formal Registry II: Niemeyer exhibit at AIA|LA Gallery
Where: AIA|LA Gallery, 3780 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010

AIA|LA welcomes its April 2015 artist to our gallery, Bernardo Olmos, Affiliate AIA|LA
Artist reception: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, RSVP to

Formal Registry II: Niemeyer
By Rebeca Fernández

Latin America has always been the repository of European utopias. Since it was discovered, multitudes of dreamers have traveled hundreds of miles to take advantage of the continent’s tempered weather and abundant resources, to pursue their adventurous and romantic ideals.

At the beginning of the 20th century, one European utopia in particular made its way into the heart of Latin America: the notion of progress through technological innovation and industrialization.

In the realm of the arts, the search for new ways to interpret the rapid urbanization and industrialization of Europe gave birth to a movement that came to be known as Modernism.

Once Latin American elites heard of the rapid changes occurring in Europe, they too yearned to partake in the brave new world that was being ushered by innovation.

While, in the aforementioned period, everything was in place for Latin America to dive into Modernism; in Europe, the wars had greatly diminished the continent’s capability to embark on major building projects were modernist architects could test their ideas.

It was in this historical context that several European architects decided to visit or move to the Americas and take part of the infrastructure overhaul promoted by the governing elites. Among these illustrious visitors, none made a greater impression than modernist Swiss-French master Le Corbusier.

The aforementioned dogmas guarantee the observance of modernism’s four notions of design: abstraction, transparency, reflection, and dynamism.

In 1936, in a visit to Brazil, Le Corbusier was able to forge a close relationship with a group of young architects who worked with him in the design of the first modernist public building in the world: The headquarters of the Ministry of Education and Health in Rio de Janeiro. Le Corbusier´s visit served as spark to ignite and strengthen the modernist ideas that were taking hold of the minds of young Brazilian architects.

Out of this group, there was one architect whose commitment, passion, and influence allowed him to breath life into Modernism’s utopia, his name:  Oscar Niemeyer.

His works, from its breakthrough design of an upper class leisure center in Pampulha to the monumental sculptural buildings he created for the country’s new center of government in Brasília, produced a new architectural vocabulary that became an intrinsic part of Brazil’s identity.

In seven decades of intense architectural practice, Niemeyer accumulated an extensive portfolio:  around 600 projects spread from Rio de Janeiro and Algeria, all the way to La Hague and Paris.

When Venezuelan photographer Bernardo Olmos visited Brazil in 2008, his intention was to create an updated record of Neimeyer’s buildings located in the cities of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília. Olmos also wanted to elaborate a series that compared the buildings whose construction was demanded regularly by the urban entity versus artificial projects created to satisfy the nation’s modern expectations such as the structures in Brasília.

Therefore, the next section will be devoted to the history behind some of the masterpieces created by the legendary architect –most of them included in Olmos’s Series Formal Registry II: Niemeyer- as well as the evaluation of his legacy.

To learn more about Bernardo's work, visit