Hélio Oiticica

Brazilian, 1937–1980

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Hélio Oiticica

Brazilian, 1937–1980

1,453
Followers
Biography

A prominent figure in the modernist Brazilian avant-garde of the 1950s and ’60s, Hélio Oiticica produced paintings in the Neo-Constructivist style of geometric abstraction, experimenting with color, form, and material. Oiticica’s Metaesquemas (1957–8), painted in gouache on cardboard, are grids of rectangular or rhomboidal shapes in variations of blue, red, and black; the shapes often appear to mirror each other bilaterally, but on closer inspection conform to more complex patterns. He also produced three-dimensional works, often crude painted boxes suspended in space and painted in warm hues of red, yellow, and orange. Oiticica’s Parangoles (1964–8), multicolored versions of carnival costumes, were the product of time spent living among the inhabitants of favelas in Rio de Janeiro. He and his younger brother Cesar studied under Ivan Serpa and were associated with Serpa’s Grupo Frente, a loose collective of artists that also included Lygia Clark and Lygia Pape. Modernists Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and Kasimir Malevich were also major influences on Oiticica’s work.

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Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Tate Modern, and 5 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 15 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 7 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Biography

A prominent figure in the modernist Brazilian avant-garde of the 1950s and ’60s, Hélio Oiticica produced paintings in the Neo-Constructivist style of geometric abstraction, experimenting with color, form, and material. Oiticica’s Metaesquemas (1957–8), painted in gouache on cardboard, are grids of rectangular or rhomboidal shapes in variations of blue, red, and black; the shapes often appear to mirror each other bilaterally, but on closer inspection conform to more complex patterns. He also produced three-dimensional works, often crude painted boxes suspended in space and painted in warm hues of red, yellow, and orange. Oiticica’s Parangoles (1964–8), multicolored versions of carnival costumes, were the product of time spent living among the inhabitants of favelas in Rio de Janeiro. He and his younger brother Cesar studied under Ivan Serpa and were associated with Serpa’s Grupo Frente, a loose collective of artists that also included Lygia Clark and Lygia Pape. Modernists Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and Kasimir Malevich were also major influences on Oiticica’s work.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Tate Modern, and 5 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 15 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 7 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Shows Featuring Hélio Oiticica
Articles Featuring Hélio Oiticica
A Show of Latin-American Op Artists Rebukes MoMA’s Eurocentrism
Feb 2nd, 2016
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