I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Exhibition view: Hélio Oiticica, Spatial Relief and Drawings 1955 – 59, Galerie Lelong& Co., New York (3 November 2018–26 January 2019). Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.
Hélio Oiticica (1937 – 1980) is a now integral part of the New York art scene, in large measure thanks to his 2017 retrospective at the Whitney, To Organize Delirium, which provided New Yorkers with an opportunity to experience him in full.
The most influential Brazilian artist of the second half of the 20th century, Hélio Oiticica began his career as a painter and progressively strayed into a more ephemeral, dynamic, performance-oriented oeuvre which culminated with large-sized installations. His intense artistic output was constantly accompanied by prolific, razor-sharp reflections on the directions of Contemporary Art. A student of Ivan Serpa's, he participated actively in the Concrete adventure as a member of collective Grupo Frente (1955–1956) but, starting in the late 1950s, as he became affiliated with Grupo Neoconcreto (1959), he felt a need to free himself up from bidimensionality and started creating more radically sensorial, interactive artworks. Thus were born the Relevos and Núcleos espaciais series, the early instances of a research on colour and space that would eventually culminate in the creation of his Bólides and especially Penetráveis, large-scale installations first exhibited at Whitechapel Gallery, in London (in the famous 1969 show Eden).
Controversial and irreverent, he has always championed the poetical and ethical richness of marginalised forms of life (Seja marginal, seja herói' [Be an outsider, be a hero]), which translated into pulsating works such as his Parangolés, which are probably the most direct and concise example of his aspiration to merge art and life. Guy Brett notes that Oiticica was part of a group of artists which 'was a metaphor for a different experience of being in this world, either alone or in the company of others, as a hub for building sensorial pleasure, contemplation, and creativity; proposing a kind of mythical place for feelings, for action, for creating things, and building your own inner cosmos.'
Born in 1937 in Rio de Janeiro, his vocabulary quickly became geometrical, and he joined the Grupo Frente (1954–1956) and later the Neo-Concrete movement (1959–1961). From 1964 to 1969, he created playful artworks, including _Parangolé, _1964, _Tropicália, _1967, and _Apocalipopótesis, _1968, both at art institutions and on the streets. He was a main attraction of the show Nova objetividade brasileira, Rio de Janeiro, 1967, sending the national avant-garde into effervescence. Recipient of the Guggenheim fellowship, he moved to New York, where he lived until 1978. Hélio Oiticica died in 1980, in Rio de Janeiro. In 2007, Oiticica was celebrated with an extensive retrospective The Body of Color at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, curated by Mari Carmen Ramirez, and later at Tate Modern, 2008.
There was a point where Lucia Koch was disturbed by the fact that most approaches to her works took them only as expressions of atmospheric changes on spaces and the alterations that light, modulated by filters, produced on human perception.
On 1 August, Brazilian artist Antonio Dias lost a long battle to cancer at the age of 74. Beginning in the 1960s, the artist produced a vast body of work that, in formal and conceptual terms, stood in stark contrast to the sunny output of the previous decade.
THE MORNING AFTER the opening of Antonio Dias's 2009 retrospective at Daros, Zurich, the news broke that a fire in Rio had consumed the vast majority of Hélio Oiticica's work.
Antonio Dias, a Brazilian artist whose early, hot-coloured paintings needled his country’s military dictatorship, and who later turned to subtly political conceptual art while in self-imposed European exile, died on Aug. 1 in Rio de Janeiro. He was 74.
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