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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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Hélio Oiticica

(1937 - 1980), Brazil

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.

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Featured Artworks

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Untitled by Hélio Oiticica contemporary artwork Hélio OiticicaUntitled, 1956 Gouache on cardboard
50.1 x 58 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Untitled by Hélio Oiticica contemporary artwork Hélio OiticicaUntitled, 1955 Gouache on cardboard
48.4 x 47.8 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Untitled by Hélio Oiticica contemporary artwork Hélio OiticicaUntitled, 1955 Gouache on cardboard
50 x 47.8 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Relevo Espacial by Hélio Oiticica contemporary artwork Hélio OiticicaRelevo Espacial, 1959–1960 Acrylic on wood
98 x 120 x 20 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Untitled by Hélio Oiticica contemporary artwork Hélio OiticicaUntitled, 1955 Gouache on cardboard
47.8 x 48.6 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Untitled by Hélio Oiticica contemporary artwork Hélio OiticicaUntitled, 1955–1956 Gouache on cardboard
48 x 41 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Untitled by Hélio Oiticica contemporary artwork Hélio OiticicaUntitled, 1955–1956 Gouache on cardboard
44 x 31 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Untitled by Hélio Oiticica contemporary artwork Hélio OiticicaUntitled, 1955 Gouache on board
48.3 x 45.1 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Hélio Oiticica, Spatial Relief and Drawings, 1955-59 at Galerie Lelong & Co. New York, New York
Closed
3 November 2018–26 January 2019 Hélio Oiticica Spatial Relief and Drawings, 1955-59 Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Grupo Frente at Galerie Lelong & Co. New York, New York
Closed
22 June–5 August 2017 Group Exhibition Grupo Frente Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Hélio Oiticica, Barracão at Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo
Closed
3 September–5 November 2016 Hélio Oiticica Barracão Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo

Represented By

In Related Press

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Hélio Oiticica: Spatial Relief and Drawings 1955–59 Related Press Hélio Oiticica: Spatial Relief and Drawings 1955–59 The Brooklyn Rail : 11 December 2018

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.

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Cool Heat: An Art Outlaw Who Still Simmers Related Press Cool Heat: An Art Outlaw Who Still Simmers The New York Times : 13 July 2017

What can art do for you? Brighten your wall. Return your investment. Snag you a pass to a V.I.P. lounge. That's about it in the art fair age. And if those are your criteria of aesthetic value, I can't think what you'd make of Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a survey of scrappy, ephemeral work so high on...

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Tripping Through Hélio Oiticica’s Mythical World Related Press Tripping Through Hélio Oiticica’s Mythical World Hyperallergic : 3 January 2017

I’ve heard Caetano Veloso’s 1968 song Tropicália hundreds of times. My parents, who are Brazilian, played it when I was growing up, and it embodies most everything I love in music: an eclectic mix of samba, bossa nova, and rock. Some might say it’s the song that launched the career of Veloso, who that same year would be jailed, together with fellow...

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Must-see shows in February 2017 Related Press Must-see shows in February 2017 The Art Newspaper : 27 December 2016

David Hockney, Tate Britain, London, 9 February-29 MayThere is no escaping David Hockney right now. This year marks the British artist's 80th birthday and he will be celebrating in style with his first transatlantic retrospective in 30 years. Featuring six decades of Hockney's oeuvre and more than 160 works, the Tate Britain show will be one of...

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