Beatriz Milhazes is a Brazilian collage artist and painter. Her colourful work is characterised by swirling geometric shapes, curved lines, their links to Brazilian culture and the European Modernist movement.
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Facts About Beatriz Milhazes
- Beatriz Milhazes was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1960.
- Beatriz Milhazes attended the Parque Lage School of Visual Arts school from 1980 to 1982 in Rio de Janeiro.
- After completing art school, she shared studio space with nine other artists in an attempt to make a career out of her art.
- She has had exhibitions in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, in Paris, and in Brazil, and her work is on permanent display in museums and galleries in New York, Spain, and Brazil.
- In 2012, her painting called Meu Limao (completed in 2000) sold at auction for more than two million dollars.
- Her other well-known works include O Beijo, Maresias, Junior Mints, and Baleza Pura.
- Her Gamboa II art installation was influenced by Brazil’s carnival costumes and parades, and was suspended from the ceiling of the Jewish Museum in New York in 2016.
- She is an active member of the LGBTQ+ community.
- In an article in The Economist in 2016, Beatriz Milhazes was called ‘Brazil’s most successful contemporary painter’.
- Her public art projects include Peace and Love (2005) at London’s Gloucester Road tube station, and Maracolouco (2008) at the Tokyo /museum of Contemporary Art in Japan.
- Her studio is located opposite the Rio de Janeiro’s botanical gardens.
- She is an admirer of the Brazilian poet and writer Oawald de Andrade.
- Beatriz Milhazes wanted to be journalist before she decided to pursue a career as an artist.
What type of art does Beatriz Milhazes create?
“I think of my work as geometric, yet I can’t put everything into a square or a circle.”Beatriz Milhazes (2011)
Many of her works combine collage, paintings, and printmaking techniques. Often, she begins by painting an abstract design onto a transparent plastic sheet. The sheet is placed onto a canvas and then peeled off to leave an image behind. The process is then repeated many times for each piece of work, creating a flat, multi-layered picture.
She uses this method to avoid the texture of brushstrokes in the finished work.
Her process is slow and steady, and her work is filled with intense colours, dramatic geometric shapes, and floral patterns. She draws influence from Brazilian culture and folk traditions, the European Modernist tradition, and the work of Bridget Riley, Tarsila do Amaral, Sonia Delaunay, Georgia O’Keefe, and Elizabeth Murray.
In her work Rio Azul (Blue River), Beatriz Milhazes worked with tapestry and weaving techniques. She collaborated with master weavers in Pinton Mill in France.
She uses sweet wrappers, silkscreen, and holographic papers in her work.
“Colour is a way for me to create contrast, drama, and mystery. Every work I create is a mathematical dream and colours are a way of emphasising that.”Beatriz Milhazes (2018)