Beatriz Milhazes: Mistura Sagrada, at Pace Gallery in Chelsea spotlighted ten large-scale acrylic paintings created in 2021 and 2022.
I often think of my good friend Carol, when seeing such vibrant paintings. I’ve been taking ceramics courses from her for about eight years, and know what she likes. I’ll be expecting her to use Milhazes’ work as inspiration in one of her upcoming Surface Design courses!
“The works in this show exemplify Milhazes’s uncanny ability to forge dynamic, unified choreographies with seemingly disparate elements, patterns, and hues. The layered compositions resulting from these formal investigations possess a kinetic quality, unfolding and reforming over time.” (Pace Gallery)
“Beatriz Milhazes’s work bursts with a chromatic and freeing vitality. Renowned for her visual language rooted in painting, collage, and printmaking, she draws on her native Rio de Janeiro.” (Pace Gallery)
“Her use of color and geometry is mined from place—the botanical gardens and the Tijuca forest near her studio, the surrounding city, its ocean front, and the cultural motifs of Brazil—and from memory. “My challenge has always been the same. I’m interested in life and my surroundings, but to make it work as a painting, I do need to think as a geometric and conceptual artist in my studio practice.” This process culminates in the artist’s patented form of abstraction, which she has termed “chromatic free geometry.” In the 1980s, she headed a new generation of artists—Geração 80 or 80s Generation—that embraced painting over the conceptual practices of the 1970s. Marked by the seminal exhibition Como vai você geração 80? (How Are You 80s Generation?) in 1984, this return to painting saw a freedom in process, in the studio as a space for action, and in a rich and amalgamated form of Brazilian art making influenced by European Modernism, the Baroque, and the Antropofagia of the late-1920s.” (Pace Gallery)
On the top floor of the gallery, my favorite gallery room in NYC, there is a large-scale mobile sculpture.
I generally save the top floor for last, as it is always a joy to be in this space with fantastic views of Manhattan. I timed my visit perfectly as there was a dance performance that had just ended, which explains the piano.
I will also note that Pace Gallery has a bathroom on the first floor. Plan your visit to the Chelsea galleries accordingly!