Beatriz Milhazes

Born 1960, Brazil.
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Beatriz Milhazes Biography

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1960, Beatriz Milhazes initially studied Communications at the Faculdades Integradas Hélio Alonso University in her home city, before studying art at the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage. Milhazes developed a personal style that reflects the achievements of both European and Brazilian modernist art (she has cited Henri Matisse, Piet Modrian and Tarsila do Amaral as among her principal inspirations) through bold color schemes and advanced geometric abstraction.

By the mid-1990s, Milhazes began utilizing a distinctive technique that combines both collage and painting methods—a mode that she continues to utilize today. The process involves painting patterns onto clear plastic, which Milhazes then places on canvas before peeling the plastic away, leaving a layer of paint; this process is repeated several times on each canvas, creating a multi-planed composition. What has continued to attract Milhazes to this particular, and to some peculiar, technique is its inherent omission of the artists gesture, or, as Milhazes describes, “…I do not want the texture of the brushstrokes or the ‘hand’ of the painter to be visible on my canvas.”

Since her first experiments with paint application, her geometric, Technicolor canvases have drawn the attention of the international art world, particularly following her representation of Brazil at the 2003 Venice Biennale. She was the subject of her first comprehensive retrospective at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris, in 2009. Today, she continues to live and work in Rio de Janeiro, and her work is part of the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid; and Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro.

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Artist Image: Credit: Guy Bell / Alamy Stock Photo