Art on the Underground is delighted to present a new commission by Beatriz Milhazes for Gloucester Road Tube station. This exhibition is a significant new work for the artist and creates its own compelling drama whilst also operating as a backdrop to the activity and movement within the station. Entitled Peace and Love, this monumental commission occupies an entire side of the station and creates a visual dialogue with both the architecture and the constant movement of trains and travellers within.
Beatriz Milhazes’ rich and complex work draws together motifs which have their roots in her everyday environment, and includes references to natural forms, folk art, carnival, and Brazilian baroque decoration. She transforms these influences into abstract patterns and ornamental shapes, which shift between the recognisable and the unfamiliar. Using a technique reminiscent of collage, intricately layered images are built up, their surfaces pulsating with intense colour. The combination of harmony with often violent contrasts results in a visual experience that seems musical and which is full of unexpected tricks and treats.
Each of the nineteen vaulted arches on the District Line platform at Gloucester Road contains a part of a dense, tightly-knit composition which skilfully combines many complex elements into an elegantly balanced whole. The work, like the station, has its own rhythm. The images run across the arches, creating their own momentum and mirroring the movement of the passengers and the trains inside the station. The vibrant colour and exuberant shapes within the work keep the viewer’s gaze in constant motion.