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October 26, 2021

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Reflecting vibrant colors and energetic visual rhythms

Vibrant colors, optical play and energetic visual rhythms are what Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes reflects in her artworks.

“Beatriz Milhazes: Ballet em Diagonais,” the artist’s first solo exhibition in China, is running at the Long Museum (West Bund) through November 28.

The exhibition features her recent paintings, collages and sculptures, among which is a site-specific installation on the window of the Long Museum.

This large collage is applied directly to the glass of the French window on the second floor. Similar to a stained-glass window, in daylight the work casts a dazzling array of colored shapes across the museum’s interior space.

Born in 1960 in Rio de Janeiro where she lives and works, the artist had solo exhibitions at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami in 2015 and Centro Cultural Paço Imperial in Rio in 2013. She also represented Brazil at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2013.

Working in various mediums, Milhazes’ unique form of abstraction fuses a diverse array of shapes, images, patterns and colors to make densely layered and complex works that combine elements from the natural world, her native Brazilian culture and the tradition of European abstraction.

“Painting is a medium, but color is a nature power — an infinite one. It is about life. Everything starts and finishes in the painting,” she once said.

The spotlight of the exhibition is her collage, in which Milhazes used a wide range of materials, including found papers, confectionery wrappers, designer labels with specially printed serigraphy paper and fragments of her own screen prints.

Such material variety is the means by which she explores form and color.

For her paintings, the artist uses a decal technique where shapes are painted onto sheets of plastic which, after drying, are peeled off and transferred to canvas. This method of production allows the artist to work with a smooth surface, which reveals the process of its own construction.

At times, the paint remains stuck to the plastic and rips, and these torn and exposed elements introduce points of erosion that give the impression that the final artwork is the result of multiple layers of time collapsed into a single image.

Dates: Through November 28 (closed on Mondays), 10am-5:30pm

Tickets: 200 yuan

Venue: Long Museum (West Bund)

Address: 3398 Longteng Ave


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