Expanded and redesigned, Galeria Fortes Vilaça reopens on April 19 with the exhibition My Pleasure, by the Rio de Janeiro artist Beatriz Milhazes. The artist, who has been chosen for the upcoming São Paulo Biennial, has not shown in São Paulo since 2000.
My Pleasure consists of five paintings and five collages, all being shown for the first time. Milhazes's recent production reaffirms the importance of color and her interest in the universe of ornament, which recurs throughout her work, at the same time that it reveals, surprisingly, a geometry of straight lines. In the collages, Milhazes introduces a new technique to achieve the same effects of pictorial composition, centered on the resonance of color and the conjugation of the organic with the geometric.
In her paintings, the squares, rectangles, and stripes free themselves from the background and appear in the foreground. One can see a strong reference to the traditions of Op-Art and Abstract Geometry, a counterpoint to the artist's unique carnivalesque and baroque vocabulary. Milhazes establishes a dynamic composition where the elements-arabesques, circles, flowers, stripes, and squares-superimpose upon each other, creating an optical sensation of constant movement.
"Avenida Brasil" is a horizontal canvas of large dimensions and stunning visual complexity, where golden, green, and lilac rectangles are separated by a horizon of colored stripes. Upon this landscape Milhazes created a sequence of "accumulations" punctuated by the calligraphy of dark arabesques, which stand out as shadow. The painting "José's Dream," for its part, prefers the color lilac in many tonalities in a centralized composition.
Since the start of the nineties, Milhazes has developed a personal technique that characterizes her painting. The artist paints her patterns-flowers, mandalas, fruits, bulls-eyes, hearts-on a piece of plastic. The layer of paint that dries on the plastic is then transferred to the canvas, which acquires, little by little, superimposed layers of paint.
Working with the same constructive principle, Milhazes developed a series of collages, her newest series of works, presented for the first time last year at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec – Centre d'Art Contemporain, in France. In the collages, the artist uses everyday materials such as candy wrappers in order to recreate her pictorial vocabulary.
In recent years, Milhazes has become the most internationally recognized Brazilian painter. Last year she represented Brazil in the L Biennale Internazionale d' Arte di Venezia. This year, in addition to the XXVI São Paulo Biennial, the artist will have a special room in the inaugural exhibition of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan.
Milhazes's work is part of the collection of the MoMA/New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art/New York, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia/Madrid, among many other institutions.