MIAMI Pérez Art Museum Miami Chief Curator, Tobias Ostrander, discusses the forthcoming retrospective exhibition of Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes in Miami. The exhibition features over 40 works, including pieces from the early 1990s up to this year. It will be the artist’s first retrospective in the United States. 

What, in your eyes, makes Milhazes such an interesting artist? 
What I find so interesting is how she mixes structure with sensuality. Her paintings are lush and dense and at times chaotic, but if you spend time with them, you begin to see how they balance forms and colours in uniquely harmonious ways. They are joyous paintings that celebrate visual pleasure.

beatriz-milhazes-chora-menino-1996Beatriz Milhazes, Chora, menino (Cry, Boy), 1996.
© Beatriz Milhazes.

Why is now the right time for this exhibition? 
Beatriz Milhazes has had important exhibitions and projects in Europe and in Latin America, but never in the United States. She is one of the strongest painters working today internationally and deserves an exhibition of this scale in this context. Miami is the perfect place to introduce her work, as it is a tropical city, an environment that embraces strong colour and sensuality.

How does this exhibition fit into the overall curatorial vision for PAMM? 
Our programme is interested in showing the most innovative international art and Beatriz Milhazes’ work is certainly in this category. We also look to respond to our public and our cultural context. Miami has a growing Brazilian population, whom we feel will strongly respond to this exhibition. Milhazes’ overall sensibility, its interest in colour, texture and exuberance will feel at home in Miami.

milhazes-beatriz-2004-mariposaBeatriz Milhazes, Mariposa, 2004. Photograph by Sérgio Guerini.

Are there any personal favourites amongst the group of works?
I really love them all, there are truly amazing works here, from so many different moments in her career. I have known Beatriz’s work for a long time, so there are certain paintings that feel like ‘friends’ who I am happy to see again in person, such as O Buda from 2000 or Mariposa from 2004. The work continues to change and expand, and the most recent works, such as Igrejinha and Potato Dreaming, both from 2013, are exciting as they represent new and stimulating artistic directions that Milhazes is exploring. 

Beatriz Milhazes: Jardim Botânico will be on view at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) from 19 September 2014 to 18 January 2015.