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ART X Lagos: Nigeria’s Art Renaissance Ocula Report ART X Lagos: Nigeria’s Art Renaissance 17 November 201817 Nov 2018 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Nigeria's art scene has flourished over the last decade, leading to a renewed interest in cultivating and supporting modern and contemporary art in the country. Ranked Africa's largest economy in 2017, making up 0.8 percent of the world's GDP, a surge in wealth amongst some individuals has led to a developing collector base (not to mention rising...

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Cao Fei Ocula Conversation Cao Fei Artist

Cao Fei's first large-scale institutional exhibition in Asia, A hollow in a world too full (8 September 2018–4 January 2019), is taking place at Tai Kwun Contemporary in Hong Kong, the city's new non-profit art centre housed in a former colonial police and prison complex in Central. Organised in collaboration with Ullens Center for Contemporary Art...

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Shanghai's West Bund and Art021 fairs overlap in 2018 Ocula Report Shanghai's West Bund and Art021 fairs overlap in 2018 17 November 201817 Nov 2018 : Diana d’Arenberg for Ocula

The last time I visited West Bund Art & Design was four years ago, when the fair was in its first year of operation: a small, boutique offering held in a cavernous hangar that seemed too big for it. Much has changed since then. Mirroring the rapid development of the city itself, West Bund has grown from 25 galleries in 2014 to a fair that...

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

Recent Exhibitions

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

Represented By

Related Press

View All (7)
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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We Went to an Art Show So Immersive You Can Sleep in a Hammock Related Press We Went to an Art Show So Immersive You Can Sleep in a Hammock The Creators Project : 17 November 2016

In 2009, a devastating fire consumed the Rio de Janeiro house of César Oiticica, brother to the late Neo-Concrete artist Hélio Oiticica. The resulting blaze wiped out a huge collection of Oiticica’s work that had been stored at the house. Seven years later, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh has put on To Organize Delirium, the first...

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