Durham Press is pleased to present two ambitious new works by Beatriz Milhazes, Purple Dahlia and Mother's Day. Both harness woodblock and screenprinting to create strong linear compositions that are a vibrant hybrid of tropical ornamentation and modernist abstraction.
Among Milhazes's largest prints with Durham Press, Purple Dahlia measures 60 1/4 x 78 3/4 inches. While the title references a flower, geometric motifs take precedence over the work's botanical imagery. Circles of various sizes float in the center of the print, then recede from view amid the parallel horizontal lines appearing all over the paper. The lines recall bead-like chains and rippling water. Purple Dahlia is visually dense, with nearly its entire surface covered in different patterns or shapes. The many semi-transparent inks, however, lend the composition a sense of lightness-a density more akin to wildflowers in a breezy field than a congested city street.
The narrow, vertical format of Mother's Day-it measures 51 7/8 x 17 inches - recalls the artist's recent sculptural work, which hangs from the ceiling and reaches down to the floor. Like Purple Dahlia, Mother's Day features densely configured lines, with multiple layers resembling cut-out strings of pearls and branches of leaves as well as the negatives, or "left-over" trimmings, of these shapes. By stacking, layering, and adding more components, including the diagonal plaid that appears in several places, Milhazes ambitiously adds further complexity to the art-historical sources the print obliquely references.
Purple Dahlia, Mother's Day, and several other works by Beatriz Milhazes are available through Durham Press.