Pace opens a solo exhibition of new and recent work by leading Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes
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Pace opens a solo exhibition of new and recent work by leading Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes
Beatriz Milhazes, Sonho de Jardineiro, 2021 © Beatriz Milhazes.

NEW YORK, NY.- Pace is presenting a solo exhibition of new and recent work by leading Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes.

The show, titled Beatriz Milhazes: Mistura Sagrada, will spotlight ten vibrant, large-scale paintings created in 2021 and 2022, as well as a large-scale mobile sculpture. The works in this show exemplify Milhazes’s uncanny ability to forge dynamic, unified choreographies with seemingly disparate elements, patterns, and hues. The layered compositions resulting from these formal investigations possess a kinetic quality, unfolding and reforming over time. The presentation marks Milhazes’s first solo exhibition with Pace since she joined the gallery in 2020 and her first show in New York in nearly a decade. Pace Publishing will produce a catalogue on the occasion of the exhibition.

Drawing inspiration from European Modernism, Baroque decorative arts, the Brazilian Antropofagia movement, and other art historical sources, Milhazes is known for conjuring energetic plays of color and form in her paintings, collages, prints, and installations.

Her use of color and geometry is mined from place—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. This process culminates in the artist’s patented form of abstraction, which she has termed “chromatic free geometry.”

“Creating spaces to develop my thoughts and explore complex orders and conceptual systems gives me pleasure. I enjoy being surrounded by a circuit of affections,” the artist says. “Geometry gives structure to my sensibility. It turns into diagonals, patterns, textures, motifs, and forms. My access to a diversity of tools creates a chromatic joy and a poetic bow.”

The paintings in Milhazes’s exhibition with Pace in New York—which range from five to over nine feet wide— consolidate her return to figuration, which she resumed in 2017. 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 says, “My endearments are made of the breath and speed of the forests, the flowers, the leaves. The power of the waves, the water, the oceans. The fascinating animal shapes. The movement of the Earth’s rotation, the Sun, the Moon, day, night, the sky, global connectivity.”

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.

Milhazes’s paintings will be displayed on the gallery’s second floor, while her sculpture Gamboa III (2020) will be hung from the ceiling of the seventh-floor exhibition space. Gamboa III incorporates various materials inspired by Carnival props, in part reused, including adornments made from acrylic on foam board, textile, plastic, and plexiglass. With its dizzying constellations of flowers and madcap forms, the intricate work, which is anchored by an iron structure, produces mesmeric, immersive effects.

Featuring allusions to Brazilian popular culture and folk traditions—including the political implications of the celebration of Carnival in Brazil—as well as the country’s Tropicália and Bossa Nova musical movements of the late 1960s, Gamboa III follows Gamboa II (2016), a hanging sculpture displayed for four months in the lobby of the Jewish Museum in New York in 2016. The artist created her first Gamboa installation in 2008 after her work designing sets for her sister’s contemporary dance company. “It’s a three-dimensional relationship with the motifs and elements that I use,” Milhazes said of Gamboa II in a 2020 interview. “It’s like they were animated.”

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