Color Inspiration: Beatriz Milhazes

Color Inspiration: Beatriz Milhazes


Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1961, Beatriz Milhazes works in the pure aesthetic style of the Pattern and Decoration movement. Influenced by her native land of Brazil, her vibrant and bold use of color and patterns create work that is as much playful, free and psychedelic, as it is geometric, organized and rhythmic.

The Pattern and Decoration movement was not originally popular in the art world because of the movements lack of political statements and stances, "art for arts sake:" "Though playful and innovative, especially in the use of materials, Pattern and Decoration didn’t make much of an impact in the art world. It was dismissed as frivolous, with the work regarded as purely decorative and thus not warranting serious critical or curatorial attention." (NYT: Fresh Eyes on a Colorful Movement) What was deemed not worth talking about has now gained global visibility since its beginnings in the 70's and 80's.


Photo from tate.org.uk

The Decoration and Pattern movement is not completely detached from society and the world around it. I feel the art, and artists involved, take a very positive stance that speaks not from the created politics and mottos of the mind, but from love and the appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us. And this philosophy of focusing more on the pleasures of life, rather than its hardships, is very evident in the shapes, colors and patterns of each of Milhazes' piece.


Photo from James Cohan Gallery

Inspiration

Many of these explosions of colour originate in her small, compact studio, where she has been based since 1987. It is situated right next door to Rio’s luscious botanical gardens, and, inevitably, the forms and patterns of the flowers – delicate swirls and leaf-like shapes – have found their way into her paintings. She has also “taken advantage of the atmosphere of the city”, with its rich urban mix incorporating chitão (the cheap, colourful Brazilian fabric), jewellery, embroidery and folk art. Other influences range from architectural – the work of Roberto Burle Marx, the landscape architect and garden designer who created the five-kilometre Copacabana beach promenade in Rio – to Pop symbols such as Emilio Pucci fabric patterns. Painterly inspiration comes from the seventeenth-century Dutch artist Albert Eckhout, who travelled through colonial Brazil, and the Brazilian Modernist Tarsila do Amaral, as well as Mondrian, Matisse and Bridget Riley.
- In the Studio, tate.org.uk


Photo from James Cohan Gallery

Creative Process

"Evidence of her terms of reference can be found pinned to the walls of her studio – magazine fragments, postcards and pieces of clothing, as well as some of her own drawings." She begins with an idea of colors and images, but “nothing is clear until the end”. And, maybe surprisingly, Milhazes is "very discipline in her creative routine." (In the Studio)

She also incorporates a wide range of materials, including many that were original inspirations for the very piece:

In Cacao, for example, the gold foil squares of Ghiradelli chocolates play against the pastel packaging of Lindt, Lacta, and Nestle bars. Milhazes embellishes this brightly patterned surface with yet more floral shapes, here mostly cut from shimmering pieces of holographic paper. While some viewers may blanch at such sensory overload, preferring the relative austerity of a classic Cubist collage, I for one appreciate Milhazes’s decorative indulgence. Like the flowers and chocolates that partially inspire them, her works remain unstinting sources of pleasure.
- Art in America, "Beatriz Milhazes at James Cohan"

Selected Work


Mariposa, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 98 x 98 inches Photo from James Cohan Gallery

An explosion of ornament is certainly apparent in Mariposa, where a pink and flesh-toned ground supports dozens of blooming flowers, including a dazzling dahlia whose deep violet core gradually fades to lavender petals. These floral fireworks are anchored on the right by a dark filigree of French curves that transforms the entire composition into a magnificent brooch.
- Art in America, "Beatriz Milhazes at James Cohan"


Peace and Love, 2005-2006, Installation, Gloucester Road Tube StationPhoto by paulbence

Entitled Peace and Love, this monumental commission occupies an entire side of the station and creates a visual dialogue with both the architecture and the constant movement of trains and travelers within.

Each of the nineteen vaulted arches on the District Line platform at Gloucester Road contains a part of a dense, tightly-knit composition which skilfully combines many complex elements into an elegantly balanced whole. The work, like the station, has its own rhythm. The images run across the arches, creating their own momentum and mirroring the movement of the passengers and the trains inside the station. The vibrant colour and exuberant shapes within the work keep the viewer’s gaze in constant motion.
-Peace and Love

More Work


Photo from tate.org.uk


Photo from tate.org.uk


Photo from tate.org.uk


Photo by didier


Photo by smallbox


Photo by Bree Apperley


Photo by Bree Apperley

Title Photo from James Cohan Gallery


Related Articles

12 Comments
Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Comments

interhuss

Very nice creations! Thanks for sharing :~)

Elia Alberti

So Inspiring!!! Fantastic

Haleigh

Unbelievably gorgeous. The combination of colors and movement in these pieces are awe-inspring!

stalya

the combination in those picture are amazing, increible, so fantastic.

eliburk

So awesome, I recently noticed some of her works in a design magazine hanging in a home. These are great inspiration.

torryster

passionate!
brilliant!

Marcia05

Adorei!! Great article!!!

Martee

Love her work. Camn i show some on my private blog?

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Search The Blog

Subscribe & Share

Our Latest Tweets

Got a masterpiece jack-o-lantern? Show your skills, reply w/ photos of your phenomenal pumpkin http://t.co/hQYNofAPU6 http://t.co/lJhunyBoAj
about 3 hours ago
Tweet this ArticleFollow @COLOURlovers

Latest Blog Posts

//View More ›

Tags

Latest Colors

//View More ›

Latest Palettes

//View More ›

Latest Patterns

//View More ›