Fri 15 Sep 2023 to Sat 28 Oct 2023
Artist: Beatriz Milhazes
Galerie Max Hetzler presents Paisagem em Desfile (Landscape on Parade), a solo exhibition of new paintings by Beatriz Milhazes at Goethestraße 2/3, in Berlin. This is the artist’s fifth solo presentation in Berlin and marks 20 years of cooperation with the gallery since her first exhibition in Zimmerstraße.
Internationally renowned for her large-scale, vibrant and highly colourful paintings, Milhazes presents a new body of work in her own form of abstraction, self-termed ‘chromatic free geometry’. These were made over the last two years, using her meticulous and complex process of ‘monotransfer’, first developed in 1989. This very controlled method of image-transfer is based on experiments with acrylic paint and monotype printing. By painting motifs onto plastic sheets before carefully transferring them onto canvas, Milhazes imbues her work with a sense of vitality. The artist has referenced Henri Matisse’s collages as related to her own technique of layering, creating the appearance of a glossy, highly finished surface, disrupted by small chips and fissures.
Additionally to the works on canvas, the exhibition presents a new wall painting executed entirely in grey tones, for the first time in the artist's oeuvre.
Translating to 'Landscape on Parade’, the title of the exhibition alludes to the main influences on the artist's practice over the last few years. Since 2017, Milhazes has returned to more figurative elements, a development which is reflected both in her compositions and titles alike. The diagonals, which she has begun to incorporate within her paintings, take the shape of triangular and pointed constructions, melded with flowing lines. Several of her new works reference childhood memories, and the popular culture of Rio de Janeiro in particular. O Arlequim (The Harlequin), 2021–2022, and O desfile de leques I (Fan parade I), 2023, for example, are evocative of the Carnival spirit, with its vibrant costumes, samba rhythms and lively parades.
Equally present is the familiar theme of nature, which has always played an important role in Milhazes’ work. Drawing inspiration from the ocean, situated near to her studio, as well as the Botanical Gardens and Tijuca rainforest, paintings such as Inteligência das Estrelas (Intelligence of the Stars), 2022, is filled with undulating waves, leaf-like organic shapes, flowers and stars, while in A dança da árvore I (The dance of the tree I), 2022, a plant appears to bloom from a patterned background. Such works reveal the artist’s deep connection with nature, her surroundings and the Earth, which have influenced her both artistically and spiritually.
In colour and composition, style and form, Milhazes alludes to Baroque art, the work of the first generation of abstract painters such as Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian and Alexander Rodchenko, and artists including Sonia Delaunay and Bridget Riley. All of these references are important for their visual kinship as well as for the transcendent and intellectual context they provide. Indeed, meticulously rendered and richly evocative, the transfer technique of Milhazes’ seemingly spontaneous compositions creates an artistic pause, a philosophical moment of consideration and stillness within the brilliant vibrancy of her paintings.
Beatriz Milhazes (*1960, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. Solo exhibitions of the artist’s work have been held in international institutions including Turner Contemporary, Margate (2023); The Long Museum, Shanghai (2021); MASP - Museu de arte de Sāo Paulo Assis Chateaubriand and Itaú Cultural, Sāo Paulo (2020); The Jewish Museum, New York (2016); Espaço Cultural Unifor, Fortaleza (2015); PAMM - Peréz Art Museum, Miami (2014); Centro Cultural Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro (2013); MALBA - Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (2012); Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2011); Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris (2009); Pinacoteca Estação, São Paulo (2008); CCBB RJ – Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro (2003); 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2005); and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2001), among others. Milhazes represented Brazil at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and has been granted several prominent public art commissions across the UK and the USA.
Works by Beatriz Milhazes are part of renowned collections including Centre Pompidou, Paris; Fondation Beyeler, Basel; MASP - Museu de arte de Sāo Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, Sāo Paulo; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museo TB A21, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; SFMOMA – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York; MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate, London; and Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, among others.