Beatriz Milhazes

Dec  1, 2007 – Jan 26, 2008

Galeria Fortes Vilaça

Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present new paintings and collages by Beatriz Milhazes. In these works, the artist complexifies her own language through an interchange between the two mediums.

Along her uneasy path in the “search for beauty,” Milhazes has created her own lexicon, surrounded by ornamental motifs, mandalas, arabesques and psychedelia. For some years now, the artist has been conjugating these organic forms with geometric patterns – stripes that move between the foreground and background of her compositions, squares that delimit planes, circles that establish the center or displace it. For its part, color plays a structural role in the artist’s oeuvre, which includes heterogeneous chromatic references to a range of subjects including Carnival, the Tropicalist movement and the work of Henri Matisse.

Each one of the artworks shown “involves singular visual-art problems” as challenges that Milhazes proposes for each canvas. In Modinha the artist alludes to the pictorial genre of landscape, it is possible to identify, among the abstract forms, hybrid plant species in the foreground, a horizon, and a yellowish setting sun in the background. Night Club presents a background of deep reds and pulsating fluorescent hues, with hypnotically resonating vertical stripes. In Mocotó we see a single purple body at the center: a dark zone that acts as a mysterious space where the eyes can rest, while blue prevails in the grid like background. In Love, the artist has left a patch of raw canvas, setting up an interplay between this nudeness and the background filled with intense gold.

In her collages, Milhazes uses colored and pattern-stamped paper, chocolate and candy wrappings, and shopping bags. These pop compositions celebrating excess and saturation present a mix of improbable colors in an infinite range of textures: shiny and opaque, rough and smooth, striped and written, forming a vocabulary of pictorial effects.

Beatriz Milhazes began her career in the mid-1980s. She achieved international projection, representing Brazil at the 50th Biennale di Venezia in 2003, participating at the Shanghai Biennale in 2006, and at the 24th and 26th editions of the Bienal de São Paulo in 1998 and 2004. In October 2008 a retrospective show of her work will be held at the Estação Pinacoteca in São Paulo, curated by Ivo Mesquita, and in 2009 at the Fundation Cartier pour L’art Contemporain in Paris. Her artworks are featured in the world’s most important collections, such as that of MoMA – Museum of Modern Art of New York; Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Her painting Maresias [Tides], 2002, is the cover of the book Art Now, vol. 2, which presents an overview and mapping of contemporary international artistic production, published by Taschen.