Cultured Magazine

Winter 2016

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308 PHOTO BY ADAM REICH, COURTESY JAMES COHAN, NEW YORK WHEELS OF FORTUNE R From her studio in Rio, Beatriz Milhazes colors the world in her own abstract language. BY TED LOOS io de Janeiro-based artist Beatriz Milhazes is warm and talkative when you sit down with her. Chatting in a private office at James Cohan Gallery in New York, her American dealer, she bubbles over with ideas, observations and stories. Her paintings, prints and sculptures follow suit—Milhazes calls herself a "geometric artist," and her works are vibrantly colored, bursting with bright orbs and other shapes that seem to go into motion before your eyes. When you see them at an art fair or in a museum, the compositions have an almost cinematic quality that draws you in. Milhazes, 56, recently debuted her latest public piece at Grace Farms, in New Canaan, Connecticut, which was designed by the acclaimed Japanese architecture firm SANAA. Though she has done public works before, Moon Love Dreaming is only her second wall painting, and it will be on display indefinitely. At 108 feet long, Moon Love Dreaming is filled with leaf, dot and floral shapes that become more and more abstract, and the title comes from Australian Aboriginal painting. Milhazes is in good company, too, since the other works on view at Grace Farms are by the likes of Teresita Fernández and Olafur Eliasson. Like all really good abstractionists, she talks about "developing my own language," since she generally doesn't attempt to depict concrete things. The circle clearly has special meaning for her, and she explains, "I want your eyes to move, and of course, circles don't have an end. I don't want your eyes to stop anywhere." But she makes a good point about the distinctions we make when talking about art. "To be honest, all painters are abstract because you don't work with any real things." Brazilians are good at casually explaining such high concepts and making them sound like no big deal. Milhazes is, in her words, "an international artist," meaning that she has dealers in the U.S., Brazil and Europe, and flies around the world

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