The Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) opened at the end of 2013, to much acclaim. But sometimes more attention was devoted to the hanging gardens and cutting-edge architecture by Herzog & deMeuron, than to the globally famous artists being featured inside. Now that Miamians are getting used to their new building, they can start paying more attention to the art within, which is a dynamic collection of modern and contemporary art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Just in time for this refocusing of attention is Jardim Botânico, a show by internationally acclaimed contemporary Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes. While PAMM Director Thom Collins says, “Milhazes’ practice has been largely unexamined in the United States,” her work is some of the highest valued of any living female artist.
So Jardim Botânico, which was organized by PAMM Chief Curator Tobias Ostrander, will serve both as an introduction of Milhazes and a loosely chronological retrospective of sorts. With 40 large-scale collages, paintings and screen prints, the exhibition is the first to showcase her 25-year career featuring many works new to the states, and three that are new for the show. That style is readily identifiable and, though it reads slightly psychedelic, it is truly a blend Brazilian cultural imagery and European modernist painting.
The show demonstrates the evolution of her 1990’s fascination with lace, baroque detailing, and roses; a 2000’s exploration of vibrant colors and linearity and her current style where she interlocks an array of angular forms, plays with color, and creates a perpetual energy that brings life to any space. There are also two new paintings Milhazes created specifically for the exhibit.The name Jardim Botânico is a reference to both the neighborhood in Rio de Janiero that houses Milhazes’ studio and the dichotomy in her work between structure and expression.
Milhazes was catapulted into the spotlight when her painting “O Mãgico” sold for over $1 million, quadrupling its estimated sale price. Since the 2001 sale, six more of her paintings have sold for above six-digits.The display opens September 19, 2014 and runs through Art Basel, closing January 11, 2015.