Art In America

Beatriz Milhazes

at James Cohan,
533 West 26th Street

Nine new paintings by Beatriz Milhazes demonstrate a leap forward for the Brazilian artist who deftly melds geometric abstraction with imperfect surfaces, suggesting the human touch. Some of the paintings are ambitiously scaled—one is nearly 10 feet wide—and all are ambitiously colored, combining a dozen hues in a single piece. Swirling discs and blooming florals recall precedents ranging from Matisse cut-outs to Sonia Delaunay to watch gears.

"Marola" is Milhazes's fifth solo at the gallery, and comes about a year after her first U.S. museum survey at Pérez Art Museum Miami. The show's Portuguese title translates as small wave, and wave-like forms appear in a number of pieces such as Mariorola (2015), a dense array of interlocking dots, circles and topped by a tight vine of Liberty-style florals in red and green.

This show also includes two hanging sculptures, a new departure. Constructed from beaded curtains, silk flowers and colored plexiglass, they developed from related set design projects and amplify the unique sense of space, decoration and theatricality found in the paintings.


Pictured: Beatriz Milhazes: Mariorola,
 2015, acrylic on linen, approx. 31¼ by 46½ inches. Courtesy James Cohan, New York.


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