Oiticica, Hélio (1937–1980)

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Oiticica, Hélio (1937–1980)

Hélio Oiticica (b. 26 July 1937; d. 22 March 1980), Brazilian painter and sculptor. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Oiticica began his artistic training as a student of Ivan Serpa, a pioneer in the Brazilian concrete art movement. In 1954 he joined Grupo Frente, whose members included Serpa, Lygia Pape, Lygia Clark, and other neoconcrete artists. Like his friend and colleague Clark, Oiticica was preoccupied with color and real space. In both The Penetrables, a series of tunnels, and a sculptural garden made of sand and color, he used diverse materials and objects to create an environment allowing spectator participation. Intrigued by the visceral effect achieved by color, he experimented with three-dimensional, solid, penetrable objects of color. In his Fireball Box, the red color mass has an energy field drawing the spectator into it.

In 1967 Oiticica participated in a neoconcrete exhibition entitled "New Brazilian Objectivity." His other exhibitions included the 1967 Paris Biennial, a 1969 retrospective of his work at London's Whitechapel Gallery, a 1970 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and a traveling retrospective in 1992.

See alsoArt: The Twentieth Century; Clark, Lygia.


Hélio Oiticica, Hélio Oiticica (1992).

Additional Bibliography

Basualdo, Carlos, editor. Hélio Oiticica: Quasi-cinemas. Ostfildern-Ruit: Kölnischer Kunstverein, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Wexner Center for the Arts in association with Hatje Cantz Publishers; New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 2001.

Jacques, Paola Berenstein. Estética da ginga: A arquitetura das favelas através da obra de Hélio Oiticica. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Casa da Palavra: RIOARTE, 2001.

Justino, Maria José. Seja marginal, seja herói: Modernidade e pós-modernidade em Hélio Oiticica. Curitiba: Editora UFPR, 1998.

Zelevansky, Lynn, and Valerie L. Hillings. Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s–70s. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004.

                                   Caren A. Meghreblian