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Aesthetic Radicalism in 'Awakenings’ at Singapore’s National Gallery Ocula Report Aesthetic Radicalism in 'Awakenings’ at Singapore’s National Gallery 21 Jun 2019 : Sam Gaskin for Ocula

Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s–1990s, a major retrospective at Singapore's National Gallery (14 June–15 September 2019), opens emphatically in flames. At the exhibition's entrance, viewers encounter a wall-sized image from 1964 titled Burning Canvases Floating on the River. The photograph captures a performance by Lee, in which he took...

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Thomas J Price: Reframing Classical Sculpture Ocula Conversation Thomas J Price: Reframing Classical Sculpture

When the London-born artist Thomas J Price graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Chelsea College of Arts in 2004, the school's college art prize was by no means his most notable accomplishment as an emerging artist. In 2001, Price presented his much-talked-about work Licked, a daring performance, later profiled on the BBC 4 television...

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'Sites Encountered': A Chorus of Five Artists at M+ Pavilion Ocula Report 'Sites Encountered': A Chorus of Five Artists at M+ Pavilion 21 Jun 2019 : Emily Verla Bovino for Ocula

Without punctuation, She Said Why Me, the title of May Fung's 1989 video presents itself as a statement, rather than a question. It suggests a subject who expects no response, a person prepared to make what she can from being chosen though perplexed by the attention. The video follows a blindfolded woman, then unmasked, through late colonial-era...

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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, 1958 Gouache on cardboard
50.2 x 67.6 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Penetrável Filtro by Hélio Oiticica contemporary artwork
Hélio OiticicaPenetrável Filtro, 1972 Mixed media installation
250 x 607 x 807 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Relevo espacial yellow A21 by Hélio Oiticica contemporary artwork
Hélio OiticicaRelevo espacial yellow A21, 1959/2012 Acrylic paint on wood
120 x 160 x 14 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler
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

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

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Visions of Brazil: Reimagining Modernity from Tarsila to Sonia Ocula Report Visions of Brazil: Reimagining Modernity from Tarsila to Sonia 18 May 2019 : Fawz Kabra for Ocula

Bridging almost a century of Brazilian art, Visions of Brazil: Reimagining Modernity from Tarsila to Sonia at Blum & Poe in New York (30 April–22 June 2019), hosted in collaboration with Mendes Wood DM, offers a rereading of Brazilian Modernism through the works of artists practising at different times, from the 20th century through to the...

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In Related Press

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Too Big for a Booth? Art Basel Still Has Room for Your Art Related Press Too Big for a Booth? Art Basel Still Has Room for Your Art The New York Times : 11 June 2019

Since it was begun in 2000, Unlimited, which is offered only at the fair in Basel, has proved to be a particularly popular draw. Most people attending the fair–there were 95,000 last year–are expected to visit the section, not only for the sheer wow factor of the works, but also for the relevance of its offerings.'I often tell people that...

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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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