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Marília Bulhões

When looking at Marília’s work, you’ll experience solace andsatisfaction. Her abstract revelations on her native Brazil arehardly exuberant or exotic, their subtlety evoking a deeper essence. Her interpretations of Brazil’s complex natural, social,and economic structures are highly empathic, an uncommon quality for the work of someone living abroad, as she has for more than 15 years.

Marília is a master of detail; this is clearly evident in her precisestrokes and impeccable treatment of her canvasses. Yet, there isa playful outcome that results from a simple and elegant coalescence between this rigorous balance of components and her desire to communicate with and please the viewer.

I met Marília about four years ago organizing an exhibit at our F Street Gallery and have managed to observe the evolution of her work. Her latest series Organic Shapes represents a career breakthrough. She is revising past styles; experimenting with new shapes; simplifying forms, techniques, and using thick painterly layers of rich monochromatic tones. This seems to be part of an investigative process where she is discovering new aesthetics and new introspections that are bound to surprise us.

Andrés Navia
Director, AMA | Art Museum of the Americas - Washington, D.C. - USA - 2015

Exhibition of Brazilian Paintings and Jewelry

Opening Reception
Thursday, December 4, 2014 | 3pm to 8pm

Brazilian Mission to the OAS Residence
2415 California Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008

Private Viewings
Available by appointment throughout December
Marília Bulhões | 202.322.8186 | mariliabulhoes.com
Clementina Duarte | 571.241.3988 | clementinaduarte.com.br

I invited the painter Marilia Bulhões to engage with me in an artistic dialogue. Signals of form, color, and texture flowed back and forth between us, spurring mutual inspiration that ultimately resulted in the original works in this show. Our mutual origins in the Northeast of Brazil played a role, at least in terms of certain shared creative sensibilities and values. But this was just common ground from which we conspired to take flight.

An elemental mystery emanates from Marilia’s canvases, universally recognizable and captivating. And it is this aspect of her work that I most aspired to capture in metal and express with the delicacy of gemstones.

- Clementina Duarte



The Art Museum of the Americas- AMA presents “Brazil, My Brazil: Contrasts of Modernity”, by Brazilian artist Marília Bulhões, an exhibition of 15 paintings sharing AMA’s mission of promoting a constructive vision of the region’s future through hemispheric cultural exchange.

Brazil, My Brazil offers a contemporary view of the artist’s perception of her country’s people, natural beauty, modernity and troubles alike, marked by elements such as technology and the futuristic architecture of Niemeyer. These elements contrast with more conservative or less developed areas, which are also vital components of the Brazilian culture, as the slums and the challenges of deforestation in the Amazon, inter alia. Through her brush strokes, the artist examines these coexisting, although seemingly incompatible, worlds.

With an abstract approach, Bulhões assembles a distinct mosaic of present-day Brazil, subtly revealing intricate contrasts while weaving in a sense of cultural unity. The artist also explores the concept of nation based on this kaleidoscope of identities. She portrays Brazil, one of the most demographically varied nations, as a unique melting pot of cultures.

According to curator Roxana Martin, "Bulhões has created a landscape-in-progress that pulsates with the energy of contemporary Brazil. There is a luminosity in her work that radiates even in its darkest hues. She applies paint in layers, with swift textural brushstrokes that highlight the grain of the canvas. Color is transparent, the forms assertive and elusive. While some of the paintings speak readily of tradition, others are edgier, with the restlessness of the unknown. All invite the viewer into a space of dialogue and exploration. This is strong, mature work that fuses beauty, imagination and craft."

Architect Juliana Bulhões was the project designer for this exhibition.

"Marília Bulhões' works are so light they almost seem to float. They pose questions, insinuate, invite, play, remind, and kiss Brazil. Brazil is not meant to be explained. It is to be bitten into, like a green and yellow guava".
Minister George Torquato Firmeza
Director of the Cultural Department of the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil

OAS | AMA F Street Gallery
1889 F St., NW
Washington, DC 20006

Hospital Daher Culture Space – Brasilia, Brazil

In order to create my works of art, I always bring, along with my brushes, a great deal of uneasiness, images rescued from many locations, feelings, passions, reflections... I build abstract works that come to life interactively under my brush strokes, resulting in canvasses and personal art projects. My inspiration arises from the experiences and customs of the various places I have lived from time to time, and even from special trips I have taken. Based on these stories, my works are created and revealed in colors and in shapes. The process of assembling/disassembling provides a ‘glance’ over my body of work.

In this new series, I have added a new concept to my artistic expression, which I have never thought I would produce. But, I accepted the fact that an artist can change her style—even if, in some ways, it seems to be unchangeable—because what moves a creative soul are the facts that surround us. It is impossible to remain inert when everything around us feels uncomfortable or, in this specific instance of inspiration, cries for help.

This time around, I was shook by the discomfort of environmental disaster and the discouragement that devastates our hopes for the future of our planet. I began to think about the environment, how the trash I created from cleaning up my personal documents would be disposed. Where should I throw them when they are no longer useful? Where will they end up?

I began to shred them and look at them. I noticed how shapes were formed: beautiful strips, some even with a streak of color, writings and a few numbers... That is great! Something to do with this trash and to recycle my ideas and attitudes. I thought: NEW ARTWORK, NEW SHAPES - NEW SUSTAINABLE SHAPES! And by being bold, I was able to make everyone who stops in front of my works think: WHERE DOES THE TRASH CREATED FROM MY PERSONAL DOCUMENTS GO?