Beatriz Milhazes - Latin America New York Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Canada (acquired directly from the artist)
    John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco
    Galeria Bergamin, São Paulo
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    The work of Beatriz Milhazes induces viewers to experience an intense sensory immersion in texture and color, while simultaneously demonstrating a complex investigative approach towards European and Latin American art historical references. When organizing her exhibitions, Milhazes displays her earlier works along newer pieces to show an evolution and drive for innovation within her own aesthetic. Early on in her career in 1989, the artist developed a novel technique, of painting various visual elements onto clear plastic sheets, then layering them directly onto the canvas—a method reminiscent of transfer prints, monotypes and collages. This layering also reflects her many influences, beginning with Baroque art from the seventeenth and eighteenth century, evinced by the highly detailed, decorative designs that populate her compositions.

    In this particular painting, O Cisne (2001), there are also ties to Kinetic and Op art of the 1960s—referencing artists such as Bridget Riley and Alejandro Otero—as seen in her overlapping circular forms striated by vertical bands that create multiple focal points, optical depth and pictorial flatness. But the most important aspect of this particular work is the artist’s use of luminous gold as the dominating color palette. Gold has complex associations with the colonial conquests in Latin American countries like Brazil, as well as the value of art and its spiritual connotations. It is notable that for O Cisne, Milhazes has chosen a smaller format than we typically see in her work, drawing the viewer in towards the glowing canvas and revealing the ability of this particular painting to mesmerize and captivate the viewer.

  • Artist Biography

    Beatriz Milhazes

    Brazilian • 1960

    Beatriz Milhazes is best known for her vibrantly colored yet calculated compositions. The artist has cited Baroque architecture, lace work, Carnival decoration and the flora of the Jardim Botanico in Rio de Janiero chief among her inspirations. Milhazes' artistic practice is akin to monotype or collage in that the artist first paints motifs directly onto transparent plastic sheets and later applies them to the canvas, leaving the plastic to dry. The superimposed image allows for overlapping and layering, resulting in a textured canvas and a distorted central focal point. While seemingly chaotic, Milhazes' compositions are perfectly balanced due to the artist's technically sophisticated use of geometric forms and chromatic color palate.

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O Cisne

signed, titled and dated "B. Milhazes - O cisne - 2001" on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
16 1/2 x 15 3/8 in. (41.9 x 39.1 cm)
Painted in 2001.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $218,750

Contact Specialist
Kaeli Deane
Head of Sale, Latin American Art
New York
+1 212 940 1352

Latin America

New York Auction 24 May 2017