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Photography by Vicente de Paulo © Beatriz Milhazes


Pace Welcomes Beatriz Milhazes

Marc Glimcher, CEO and President of Pace, announced today that Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes has joined the gallery’s roster of leading international contemporary artists. Pace will cooperate with Milhazes’s existing galleries Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Max Hetzler, and White Cube to offer a comprehensive global network through which to further the artist’s career.

Beatriz Milhazes’s work bursts with a chromatic and freeing vitality. Renowned for her visual language rooted in painting, collage, and printmaking, she draws on her native Rio de Janeiro. Her use of color and geometry is mined from place—the botanical gardens and the Tijuca forest near her studio, the surrounding city, its ocean front, and the cultural motifs of Brazil—and from memory. “My challenge has always been the same. I’m interested in life and my surroundings, but to make it work as a painting, I do need to think as a geometric and conceptual artist in my studio practice.” This process culminates in the artist’s patented form of abstraction, which she has termed “chromatic free geometry.” In the 1980s, she headed a new generation of artists—Geração 80 or 80s Generation—that embraced painting over the conceptual practices of the 1970s. Marked by the seminal exhibition Como vai você geração 80? (How Are You 80s Generation?) in 1984, this return to painting saw a freedom in process, in the studio as a space for action, and in a rich and amalgamated form of Brazilian art making influenced by European Modernism, the Baroque, and the Antropofagia of the late-1920s.

My challenge has always been the same. I’m interested in life and my surroundings, but to make it work as a painting, I do need to think as a geometric and conceptual artist in my studio practice.

Beatriz Milhazes

“Having known Beatriz for well over a decade, it is an honor to welcome her to the Pace family,” says Adam Sheffer, Vice President at Pace. “I don’t think I have missed an exhibition or project of hers in all the time I’ve known her. We at Pace are delighted to join Beatriz’s other galleries in a collegial and cooperative spirit, to serve an artist of her remarkable level of accomplishment; we are grateful to James Cohan for entrusting us to build upon the good work he has done for her over so many years. Her singular vision and driven engagement with painting continues Pace’s historic lineage of painters that have expanded and radically altered the landscape of the medium, such as Jean Dubuffet, David Hockney, Agnes Martin, Elizabeth Murray, and Robert Ryman.”

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Beatriz Milhazes, Banho de rio, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 280 cm x 300 cm © Tate, London, 2019 © Beatriz Milhazes

Beatriz Milhazes comments:

“It is with great enthusiasm that I join Pace Gallery, particularly in this special moment of renewal. The journey has been long and exciting from the moment I first showed my work in North America, at The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, in 1993, to now. Pace’s impact on art history, with their strong program in abstract art, is well established and their aim to continue its legacy with a new concept of global contemporaneity attests to their commitment to artists such as myself. It is fascinating, and I am excited to be a part of it!”

As a painter, Milhazes utilizes a unique “monotransfer” technique that begins with her painting on plastic sheets before transferring them onto the canvas in which a trace of the hand is seen. This approach retains visible errors and changes that occur throughout her process, imbuing the surface of her works with the memory of her actions—often seen through relief of previous decisions—as in the cutouts—by Henri Matisse.

Along with painting, Milhazes is committed to her work in collage, which is an equal and important part of her practice and are highly resolved works in themselves. According to the artist, “Collages have a kind of dialogue with an imaginary journal. Collected papers come from a variety of interests: sometimes it’s an aesthetic attraction, but other times they’re part of a routine, such as with chocolate wrapping paper or cuttings remaining from existing impressions. That’s why composition in collage creates a dialogue that’s exclusive to collages.”

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Beatriz Milhazes, Bala de leite em roxo e azul ultramar, 2017, 140 cm x 100 cm © Beatriz Milhazes

Printmaking is an important component of Milhazes’s practice. For over twenty years, she has worked with Durham Press in Eastern Pennsylvania, often traveling to the state for residencies. This commitment to spending time outside the studio to work in other media ultimately, if indirectly, informs her painting and collage methods. Other forms of working outside the studio include her collaboration with the Márcia Milhazes Dance Company, founded by her sister, and with master weavers at the Pinton Mill in France, where artists Alexander Calder and Sonia Delaunay had also worked.

Another form of collaboration that is important to Milhazes is her work with architects, most significantly with SANAA (Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates) the award-winning Japanese architectural design firm. She was invited to take part in the Inujima Art House Project as part of Benesse Art Site Naoshima, an initiative that aimed to bring contemporary art and architecture to the islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Working with Kazuyo Sejima, she produced the installation Yellow Flower Dream (2018), a free-standing floral structure that engages both the community of Inujima, Japan and its surrounding nature with Milhazes’s vibrant color and energy. She contributed to the firm’s work on Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut with a site-specific piece titled Moon Love Dreaming (2016) that spans the entire inner length of the West Barn and draws from river-like design and surrounding hills of the structure’s nature.

Milhazes’s work is held in major public collections around the world, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Twenty-First Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; and Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts, among many others. She has enjoyed a number of major institutional solo exhibitions, including significant survey exhibitions at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (2008); Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain (2009); Fondation Beyeler, Switzerland (2011); Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (2012); and Jardim Botânico at the Perez Art Museum, Miami (2014). Milhazes represented Brazil at the 2003 Biennale di Venezia.

Learn More About Beatriz Milhazes

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  • News — Pace Welcomes Beatriz Milhazes, Jan 9, 2020