This month at Pace’s New York flagship, artist Beatriz Milhazes has installed ten vibrant, large-scale paintings created between 2021 and 2022, as well as a large scale mobile sculpture that underscores and exemplifies Milhazes’s uncanny ability to forge dynamic, unified choreographies with seemingly disparate elements, patterns, and hues. Drawing inspiration from European Modernism, Baroque decorative arts, the Brazilian Antropofagia movement, and other art historical sources, Milhazes continues her enervating plays of color and form in her paintings, collages, prints, and installations.
Milhazes work in the show makes much of repetition and layering, realizing formal interactions the breakdown and reform as the viewer’s eye passes over the canvas. Drawing particular inspiration from the botanical gardens and the Tijuca forest near her studio, the surrounding city of Rio de Janeiro, its ocean front, and the cultural motifs of Brazil—and memory, all brought together to create swirling patterns of emotive and expressive color. The artist has filled the works in the show with imagery of the natural world, from flowers, trees, and totems to suns and stars. Notably, the titles of these poetic works directly reference their contents, drawing viewers into magical, generative, natural worlds.
Milhazes created the works in Beatriz Milhazes: Mistura Sagrada during the period of quarantine caused by the pandemic, which deeply impacted her painting process and her approach to art making. Without access to travel, gatherings, or most of the usual stimulations of modern life, the artist imbued her new works with a mood of contemplation that she experienced during a period of social isolation and uncertainty. Meditating on complex systems, circuits, and concepts, the artist produced works that are engaged with celestial phenomena and geometries found in nature. The compositions in Mistura Sagrada reflect a sacred mixture of nature, humanity, and spirituality that Milhazes brought to the fore of her practice during the pandemic.
The show closes October 29th.
– D. Creahan
Beatriz Milhazes [Exhibition Site]