Hélio Oiticica

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Open: Tue-Sat 11am-6pm and by appointment

27 Bell Street, NW1 5BY, London, UK
Open: Tue-Sat 11am-6pm and by appointment


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Hélio Oiticica

London

Hélio Oiticica
to Sat 25 Jun 2022
Tue-Sat 11am-6pm and by appointment
Artist: Hélio Oiticica

Lisson Gallery presents the first survey of Hélio Oiticica’s work in London in 15 years. Featuring painted compositions, three-dimensional works, film and an environmental structure that invites viewer participation, the exhibition illustrates the extraordinary and enduring influence the Brazilian artist had on the development of international contemporary art. Working in collaboration with the artist’s Estate, the exhibition is curated by Ann Gallagher who led the curatorial team on the major Tate Modern presentation of Oiticica’s work, Helio Oiticica: The Body of Colour, in 2007, initiated by the Museum of Fine Art Houston in 2006.

Artworks

Untitled (Grupo Frente), 1955

Carbon print and gouache on paper
30.6 x 40.8 cm 12 x 16 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Grupo Frente), 1955

Carbon print and gouache on paper
25 x 32.6 cm 9 3/4 x 12 3/4 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Grupo Frente), 1955

Gouache on cardboard
43 x 50 cm 16 7/8 x 19 5/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Grupo Frente), 1955

Gouache on cardboard
49.8 x 50 cm 19 1/2 x 19 5/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Grupo Frente), 1955

Gouache on cardboard
50.1 x 48 cm 19 5/8 x 18 7/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Grupo Frente), 1955

Gouache on mansonite
38.8 x 42.5 cm 15 1/4 x 16 5/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Metaesquema), 1956

Gouache on cardboard
45.5 x 54.8 cm 17 7/8 x 21 1/2 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Metaesquema), 1957

Gouache on cardboard
45.8 x 54 cm 18 x 21 1/4 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Metaesquema), 1958

Gouache on cardboard
52 x 63.5 cm 20 3/8 x 25 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Metaesquema), 1958

Gouache on cardboard
46 x 56 cm 18 x 22 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Metaesquema), 1958

Gouache on cardboard
49.8 x 67.5 cm 19 1/2 x 26 1/2 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Metaesquema), 1958

Gouache on cardboard
30.4 x 33 cm 11 7/8 x 12 7/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Bilateral, 1959

Oil on wood
180 x 160 x 5 cm 70 3/4 x 62 7/8 x 1 7/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Pre-Neoconcreto), 1959

Gouache on cardboard
24.8 x 32.7 cm 9 3/4 x 12 7/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Pre-Neoconcreto), 1959

Gouache on cardboard
24.7 x 32.7 cm 9 5/8 x 12 3/4 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Pre-Neoconcreto), 1959

Gouache on cardboard
25.2 x 32.7 cm 9 15/16 x 12 7/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Pre-Neoconcreto), 1959

Gouache on cardboard
18 x 34 cm 7 x 13 3/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Pre-Neoconcreto), 1959

Gouache on cardboard
25.2 x 32.4 cm 9 7/8 x 12 3/4 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Relevo Espacial (Spatial Relief), 1959-60

Polyvinyl acetate resin on plywood
98 x 120 x 25.5 cm 38 1/2 x 47 1/8 x 10 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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B12 Bólide vidro 03 Em memória de meu pai (B12 Glass Bólide 03 In memory of my father), 1964

Oil with polyvinyl acetate emulsion on wood, glass, and pigment
74.5 x 25.5 x 26.5 cm 29 1/4 x 10 x 10 3/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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B15 Bólide vidro 04, Terra (B15 Glass Bólide 04, Earth), 1964

Glass, red earth, pigment, and oil with polyvinyl acetate emulsion on nylon mesh
40 x 28.5 x 28.5 cm 15 3/4 x 11 1/8 x 11 1/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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B04 Bólide caixa 04 Romeu e Julieta (B04 Box Bólide 04 Romeo and Juliet), 1963

Oil with polyvinyl acetate emulsion on wood and plywood
59.5 x 83.5 x 40 cm 23 3/8 x 32 3/4 x 15 3/4 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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B01 Bólide caixa 01, Cartesiano (B01 Box Bólide 01, Cartesian), 1963

Acrylic on wood
32 x 21.2 x 20.7 cm 12 1/2 x 8 1/4 x 8 1/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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B18 Bólide vidro 06 Metamorfose (B18 Glass Bólide 06 Metamorphosis), 1965

Glass, pigment, oil, with polyvinyl acetate emulsion paint on nylon mesh, and polyvinyl chloride plastic sheeting
34 x 48 x 41 cm 13 3/8 x 18 7/8 x 16 1/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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B34 Bólide bacia 01 (B34 Basin Bólide 01), 1965-66

Plastic, earth, and rubber gloves
15.3 x 63.7 x 40.8 cm 6 x 25 x 16 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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B47 Bólide caixa 22 Mergulho do corpo (B47 Box Bólide 22 The Plunge of the Body), 1966-67

Water tank and rubber letters
49 x 62.5 x 62.5 cm 19 1/4 x 24 1/2 x 24 1/2 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Topological Ready-made Landscape 4, Quadrado pelo escondido-desescondido/Homenagem á Lygia Clark (Topological Ready-made Landscape 4, Squared by the Hidden-Unhidden/Homage to Lygia Clark), 1978

Aluminium baking pan, sand, and acrylic on cardboard
10 x 35.7 x 24.5 cm 3 7/8 x 14 x 9 5/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Apropriação 4 – Avenida Presidente Vargas-Gaudí-Kioto – Objet semi-mágico-trouvé (Appropriation 4 – Avenida Presidente Vargas-Gaudí-Kyoto – Semimagical Found Object), 1978

Asphalt fragments
Installed dimensions: 14 x 119 x 89 cm Installed dimensions: 5 1/2 x 46 3/4 x 35 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Topological Ready-Made Landscape No. 05 “Ovo band” (“Egg Band”), 1979

Stone, rubber band
4.5 x 6 x 4.5 cm 1 3/4 x 2 1/4 x 1 3/4 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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PN 28 Penetrable, Nas Quebradas, 1979

Wood, brick, metal, nylon mesh, metal mesh, roof tile, plastic and jute
357 x 450 x 310 cm 140 1/2 x 177 1/8 x 122 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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B24 Bólide caixa 13, variação de Bólide caixa 01 (B24 Box Bólide 13, variation of Box Bólide 1), 1965

Oil with polyvinyl acetate emulsion on wood, charcoal, beach shells
32 x 22.5 x 21.5 cm 12 1/2 x 8 3/4 x 8 3/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Ready Constructible No. 03 Demarcation in 5 and 4 in Formarea Topology, 1980

Aluminium baking pan, wire mesh, asphalt
10.5 x 32.5 x 22.5 cm 4 1/8 x 12 3/4 x 8 3/4 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Untitled (Metaesquema), 1958

Gouache on cardboard
49.7 x 67.2 cm 19 1/2 x 26 3/8 in
© Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Lisson Gallery Bell St Helio Oiticica 1

Lisson Gallery Bell St Helio Oiticica 2

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Lisson Gallery Bell St Helio Oiticica 6

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1937, Oiticica was one of the most innovative Brazilian artists of the 20th century. He produced an outstanding body of painting, participatory sculpture, architectural environments, films and writings from the mid 1950s until his untimely death in 1980. He gave name to a highly influential 1960s cultural movement in Brazil – incorporating art, music, theatre and literature – with his installation Tropicalia of 1966-67. This interactive environment was included in the artist’s ground-breaking exhibition, referred to by Oiticica as The Whitechapel Experiment, held in 1969 at London’s Whitechapel Gallery, curated by the late Guy Brett (1942-2001), then art critic for The Times newspaper, and co-founder of the now legendary London gallery for experimental international art, Signals (1964-66). The Whitechapel Experiment was the only large-scale exhibition devoted to the artist during his lifetime outside of Brazil. This focused on Oiticica’s work up to the time he spent in London, and a display of Tropicalia, editions of which are now part of the permanent collections of the Tate Collection, London; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

The exhibition at Lisson Gallery will include early painted compositions made while studying under the artist Ivan Serpa; Serpa founded the art movement, Grupo Frente, alongside artists such as Aluisio Carvão, Lygia Clark, and Lygia Pape, who rejected the figuration and nationalism of the predominant modernist Brazilian painting style. Alongside this will be a series of Metaesquemas, which Oiticica began in 1957, representing his subsequent exploration into colour and form, as well as a series of gouaches which led to the evolution of his work into three dimensions. His early sculptural practice is represented by a rarely seen white Bilateral and vibrant yellow Spatial Relief which invite the viewer to move around them in order to fully experience their physical presence.

Alongside these will be a collection of Bólides, an important series of works created by Oiticica from 1963. The term ‘bólide’ translates as ‘fireball’, referring in astrology to an extremely bright meteor that explodes in the atmosphere. The series began with box-like structures that were painted as if “possessed or inflamed by colour” (Ivan Cardoso interviewing Oiticica for the film, ‘HO’) and filled with powdered pigments and earth; by permitting light to penetrate the interior of the structure, Oiticica created the illusion of a luminous centre, which was later magnified by his use of glass vessels. The Bólides were also created at an important time given the social backdrop: Brazil’s military regime was becoming increasingly repressive, resulting in a tumultuous political atmosphere and increased economic disparity.

The Bólides marked a pivotal moment in Oiticica’s trajectory, when he began consciously involving spectators in his work, allowing them to touch and manipulate the works and thus expanding beyond the purely visual. The exhibition also includes an important ‘Penetrable’ installation by Oiticica entitled Nas quebradas (1979), works Oiticica described as “movable frescos on a human scale… most importantly, they are penetrable”. These offer an intense multi-sensorial experience whereby the viewer is invited to discover the work by walking into and through it. Oiticica’s ‘Penetrables’ were one of the first examples of an artistic installation, and were hugely influential in the evolution of conceptual art. Nas quebradas is modeled on the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, speaking specifically to Oiticica’s engagement with the people of Mangueira Hill; the materials of the structure alongside the unstable movement of rocks beneath your feet recall the flux of the community at the time. These works ­– encouraging a more interactive form of experience – radically re-defined the concepts of painting and participatory art, blurring the line between the two by encouraging visitors to inhabit a monumental painting. Nas quebradas relates to others from the series, initiated by Oiticica in the 1960s, such as Tropicália, Penetrables PN 2 ‘Purity is a myth’ and PN 3 ‘Imagetical’.

Hélio Oiticica, Exhibition view. 27 Bell Street, London. 26 April – 25 June, 2022. ©️ Estate of Hélio Oiticica; Courtesy Lisson Gallery


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