Groovy Link of the Month: Beatriz Milhazes at the Perez Art Museum Miami

Beatriz Milhazes, one of my very favorite contemporary artists, is being honored with her first US-museum career retrospective at the Perez Art Museum Miami. The exhibit is entitled “Beatriz Milhazes: Jardim Botânico” and runs Sept. 19, 2014 through Jan. 11, 2015. The works represent the full progression of her colorful abstract compositions from the organic, circular shapes based on textiles and flowers to her recent return to the formal grid.

Milhazes is a Carioca (native of Rio de Janeiro) who trained at the Parque Lage art school in the 1980s. Art runs in the family: Her mother was an art-history professor, while her sister is a choreographer with her own modern dance company (Beatriz has designed theatrical sets for the company’s performances.) Her artistic breakthrough came during a sojourn in Paris, where she discovered Matisse. The idea that painting could be decorative, colorful, and at the same time, rigorously abstract, set her free to develop her own approach to subject matter and style. Other artistic influences include Brazilian floral textiles and lace, the annual Carneval samba competitions at the Sambodromo in Rio, and most importantly, the city’s famed botanical gardens. Since graduating from art school, Milhazes has maintained a studio in a converted millworker’s house in the historic neighborhood bordering the Jardim Botânico.

Milhazes uses a form of decalcomania to create her large-scale abstractions. By pouring thin coats of liquid acrylics on plastic sheets, then scraping the dried paint shapes off the plastic and gluing them onto the canvas, she constructs her images in slightly tattered layers that reveal the colors below.

I first encountered her work in London, where Transport for London hosted an installation of her work titled “Peace and Love”  in the Gloucester Road Tube station in late 2005 and early 2006 as part of its Art on the Underground exhibit/installation series. Gloucester Road is the Tube station closest to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Getting on and off the train and seeing her colorful work really brought a lift to my spirits during the gray, cold London winter. I’ve been a fan ever since.


Out and about: Art exhibits to see this spring and summer

Some exciting art exhibits this spring and summer for art and nature lovers:

John Singer Sargent Watercolors. This landmark exhibition features the 93 Sargent watercolors in the Brooklyn and Boston museums’ collections. A special segment of the show is devoted to a technical and scientific analysis of the pigments and techniques used by the great American painter, including video demonstrations of his techniques performed by a contemporary watercolor artist. John Singer Sargent worked perhaps most closely in the Impressionist style and philosophy in his watercolor paintings. This is without a doubt the exhibition to see this year for artists and art-lovers alike.  At the Brooklyn Museum, April 5-July 28, 2013. At the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, October 13, 2013-January 20, 2014.

Kaffe Fassett: A Life in Color. A major retrospective of the multi-talented artist and textile designer, in conjunction with the publication of his autobiography.  At the Fashion and Textile Museum, Bermondsey, London, March 22-June 29, 2013.

Penguins of the Antarctic: A Photographic Expedition. The results of photographer J. J. L’Heureux’s work with the famous emperor penguins and crossing of the Weddell Sea. At the Houston Museum of Natural Science, May 4-October 27, 2013.

Closing soon:

Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity. At the same time that the Impressionists were seeking to portray modern city life in all its vibrancy, Paris was becoming the center of the world’s fashion industry. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, through May 27, 2013.

Picasso: Black and White. Picasso was renowned for working in monochrome throughout his career. Oddly, this important theme in his work has never been displayed together cohesively in one exhibit. This show was originally curated at the Guggenheim last autumn.  At the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, through May 27, 2013.


HCC graphics students will exhibit their work

Exhibit poster for HCC graphics students portfolio show

The HCC student show opening is Friday, May 4, 2012, 5-8 pm

Sharon Hendry, the head of Houston Community College’s graphics communications program has sent me this notice for the opening of the HCC graphics students’ portfolio show.

The exhibit opening is Friday, May 4, from 5-8 pm. All graphics professionals and interested members of the public are welcome to attend. Ms. Hendry has especially requested that any graphics professionals attending the opening give their opinion and advice to the students about their pieces. So feel free to share your thoughts and experiences! 🙂

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