Tate St Ives presents a retrospective of the work of artist Beatriz Milhazes, who is known for intensely colourful, large-scale abstract canvases. The exhibition Beatriz Milhazes: Maresias traces the evolution of her artistic approach over the past four decades.
Beatriz Milhazes (born 1960, Rio de Janeiro) rose to prominence in the 1980s as a leading figure of the Geração Oitenta (1980s Generation), a pivotal Brazilian art movement that saw a return to painting as a dynamic medium for artistic expression, moving away from the conceptual art of the previous decade.
Milhazes is influenced by multiple sources including Brazilian and European modernism, Catholic iconography, Baroque colonial architecture, and the vernacular culture and heritage of Brazil.
Adapting the concept of collage to painting, Milhazes creates exuberant, densely layered works. In 1989 she developed her distinctive ‘monotransfer’ technique in which she paints her own motifs onto plastic sheeting before transposing them onto canvas. This process offers the possibility to retain the fidelity of the colours and intensify the effects of fluorescent and metallic pigments. It also allows Milhazes to create a smooth and defiant surface without losing the painterly quality.
In Portuguese, Maresias refers to the salty sea breeze that is part of Milhazes’ everyday life in the coastal city of Rio de Janeiro, where she lives and works. Nature is an enduring and increasingly important theme, and she finds inspiration in the landscapes around her studio, as well as in the forms and structures of the natural world.
Organised by and originated at Turner Contemporary, Margate, and adapted for presentation at Tate St Ives.