Beatriz Milhazes's works are layered with elements of both local Brazilian popular culture and modernist pictorial language. Her eccentric and elegant paintings are intricately constructed and recall the exuberance, excess and energy of the Brazilian carnival.
Milhazes often paints onto clear sheets of plastic. Once dry, the paint is peeled off and transferred onto canvas. This working method allows Milhazes to build up the surface of her work with an intensity of colour. The various layers of applied paint reveal motifs which are taken from her everyday environment such as local flora and fauna, folk art and colonial Brazilian baroque. Expanding abstract patterns and ornamental arabesques, at once profound and unsettling, play on the ambiguity between the recognisable and the unfamiliar. The beauty, harmony, and violent contrasts in her work result in a colourful visual experience that is at once jarring and musical.
Beatriz Milhazes had a solo exhibition at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham 2001 which travelled to the Birmingham Museum of Art, USA. Group shows include Urgent Painting, Musee d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris 2002; Hybridities, Tate Gallery, Liverpool in 2001; and Ficciones, Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain in 2000. Milhazes will have a major survey show at the Centro Cultural Banco Do Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from October 2002-January 2003. She will also be producing an artist's book in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA in 2002.