September 8, 2014 - Pérez Art Museum Miami - Beatriz Milhazes
September 8, 2014

Beatriz Milhazes

Beatriz Milhazes, Lampião, 2013–14. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Pepe Schettino.

Beatriz Milhazes: Jardim Botânico
September 19, 2014–January 11, 2015

Pérez Art Museum Miami
1103 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33132

Pérez Art Museum Miami is pleased to present the first major US survey of the work of Beatriz Milhazes (b. 1960, Rio de Janeiro). Including examples from over three decades of her production, Beatriz Milhazes: Jardim Botânico presents more than 50 large-scale paintings, screenprints, and collages. Milhazes’s works are characterized by their use of strong colors, decorative elements, and complex geometries. Her practice is informed by diverse sources, taken from both art history and popular culture, including Baroque painting, textiles, European modernism, Latin American geometric abstraction, psychedelia, graffiti, and Brazilian Carnival.

The title of the exhibition references a particular place, while it metaphorically looks to also articulate a dichotomy structured into Milhazes’s oeuvre: a desire for rational order and geometry, confronted with an equally significant interest in sensuality, expression, and emotion. Jardim Botânico is the neighborhood in which the artist’s studio is located in Rio de Janeiro and is named for the turn-of-the-century botanical garden that forms its center. Similar to Milhazes’s practice, botanical gardens are both sensual and structured spaces. They are designed for visual pleasure, romantic sites filled with diverse colors and textures. Concurrently, they are highly organized and architecturally planned, areas for research and objective observation.

The exhibition looks to highlight the significance of Milhazes’s painting process, which evidences this play between order and expression. In 1989, through working with monotype techniques, Milhazes developed her signature painting method in which she paints individual elements in acrylic onto clear plastic sheets, allowing her to manipulate them in a manner similar to collage, testing their placement and layering them on a given canvas. These elements are then covered with an acrylic medium and adhered to the surface of the canvas. Once dry, the plastic sheet is removed to reveal the backside of the paint, with the image presented in reverse. This transfer process is an imperfect one and often bits of the thin skin of paint do not stick to the canvas. The patina that builds from these imperfections constructs rich and irregular surfaces that give the paintings a prematurely aged character. Their surfaces also distinguish these highly structured works from graphic design, with these imperfections humanizing the geometry of the forms that the artist engages, imbuing them with rich metaphoric and emotional undertones.

Curated by PAMM’s Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs Tobias Ostrander, the exhibition is organized in a loose chronology, with sequential sections focused around particular formal investigations. The selection of works reveals the artist’s trajectory from a focus on more figurative elements in the 1990s, such as carefully rendered lace, textiles, and pearls, up through recent works that evidence her increased interest in the optical effects of pure geometries, emphasizing dense line patterns and interlocking circular motifs. Through its ambitious scale and the importance of the individual works it presents, Beatriz Milhazes: Jardim Botânico represents the most significant exhibition of this artist to date. 

About the artist
Beatriz Milhazes was born in 1960 in Rio de Janeiro, where she currently lives and works. From 1978 to 1981 she studied Social Communication at Hélio Alonso University, Rio de Janeiro. Between 1980 and 1982 she took courses at the School of Visual Arts Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro. Her recent solo exhibitions include Meu Bem, Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro (2013); Beatriz Milhazes, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (2012); Panamericano, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano, Fundacion Costantini, Buenos Aires (2012); Beatriz Milhazes, Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2011); Beatriz Milhazes, Screenprints 1996–2009, Whitechapel at Windsor, Vero Beach, USA (2011); Beatriz Milhazes, Fondation Cartier, Paris (2009); Beatriz Milhazes—Pinturas e Colagens, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (2008); Beatriz Milhazes, Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Bignan, France (2003); Venice Biennale, Brazilian Pavillion (2003); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2001); and Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, USA (2001). Her work is in numerous museum collections throughout the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo; The 21st Century Museum of Modern Art, Kanazawa, Japan; and Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid.

Beatriz Milhazes: Jardim Botânico is organized by Pérez Art Museum Miami Chief Curator Tobias Ostrander and presented by Itaú. Support is provided by Graff, and in-kind support is provided by Consulate General of Brazil in Miami.

Pérez Art Museum Miami
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