Beatriz Milhazes - Latin America New York Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Mexico City (acquired directly from the artist)
    Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Beatriz Milhazes is best known for her bold and collaged compositions. Born in 1960 in Rio de Janeiro, Milhazes studied at Escola de Arte Visuais do Parque Lague from 1981 until 1982. In 1984 she formed part of the historic exhibition entitled Como vai você geração 80? (How Are You 80s Generation?). The exhibition featured a group of Brazilian artists who championed painting as a counterpoint to the conceptual art practices that were prevalent in the 1970s. Many of these artists, including Milhazes were utilizing new techniques and materials in their artistic practice.

    Milhazes draws inspiration from a variety of sources including the native flora and fauna of Rio de Janiero, Brazilian Carnival, 19th century lacework, and Baroque ornamentation. The present lot is an important early example of the artist’s experimentation with circular motifs, which would later become prevalent in her work. The central focal point of the composition is a large oval shaped lace collar and accompanying lace frill. Rendered in hues of soft pink, the central image contrasts with the brighter green and pink hues of the background creating a dynamic composition. In addition to the prominent lace detail, Milhazes includes smaller colorful circular elements throughout the canvas along with small ornamental elements rendered in black, such as a flower, a necklace, and other decorative designs.

    In Untitled, Milhazes has begun to build a visual lexicon of ornamental imagery: frills, necklaces, flowers, and arabesques. It highlights her interest in elevating decorative imagery to the level of contemporary art. In this work, Milhazes utilizes traditional Brazilian iconography all while drawing upon European Modernist style, namely that of Henri Matisse. Beatriz Milhazes’ represented Brazil in the Venice Biennale in 2003 and more recently had a solo exhibition at the Perez Art Museum Miami in 2014 entitled Jardim Botanico.

  • 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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signed and dated "B. Milhazes - 1992" on the reverse
oil on canvas
31 1/2 x 27 1/2 in. (80 x 69.9 cm)
Painted in 1992.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $250,000

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

Latin America

New York Auction 22 November 2016