Beatriz Milhazes, Coisa Linda, 2002
Coisa Linda (Something Beautiful) is a hand printed edition by the Brazilian painter Beatriz Milhazes. Published in October 2002, it was the first book in the Contemporary Editions series. Each book contains more than thirty screen prints in forty colors and an original collage, within a hand-printed cover, all created by Milhazes in collaboration with the printer Jean-Paul Russell. Through its inclusion of lyrics from traditional and contemporary Brazilian songs, Milhazes intends Coisa Linda to engage the senses and explore the connection between music and images, a connection that is especially deep in Brazilian culture. Milhazes's exuberant abstractions respond to a range of musical sources, from words and phrases of the songs featured in the book to more general sights and sounds of the streets and samba schools of Rio de Janeiro.
The lyrics cited in Coisa Linda represent the work of some of the finest Brazilian songwriters of the past hundred years—Arnaldo Antunes, Dorival Caymmi, Vinícius de Moraes, Gilberto Gil, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Arto Lindsay, Marisa Monte, Pixinguinha, Edgard Scandurra, and Caetano Veloso. Each song is presented as a work of poetry, in Portuguese, with English translation by Cliff Landers. Pablo Medina, a graphic designer with a special interest in vernacular Latin American fonts, contributed designs for the text pages of the book, which are printed in Vitrina, a face designed by Medina, and Clarendon, designed by Hermann Eidenbenz, alongside hand-written script by Beatriz Milhazes. Many of the pages are decorated with Milhazes's drawings and script. In addition, Coisa Linda includes notes about the songs by the artist, a translator's afterword by Landers, and a brief essay by Paulo Herkenhoff.
Beatriz Milhazes was born and lives in Rio de Janeiro. Her work has been exhibited and collected by many public and private institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art.
The book was proofed at the Durham Press, Durham, Pennsylvania, and printed by Steve Maiorano at Screened Images Inc., Port Washington, New York. Claudia Cohen bound the edition of 175, plus 25 artists' copies, by hand in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The edition is now out of print.