Lisson Gallery

Estate of Hélio Oiticica

Hélio Oiticica (1937 – 1980) is widely regarded as one of Brazil’s leading artists of the twentieth century and a touchstone for much contemporary art made since the 1960s, primarily through his freewheeling, participatory works of art, performative environments, avant-garde films and abstract paintings. Even before the age of 20, Oiticica was a key member of the historic Rio de Janeiro-based Grupo Frente (1954-56), his radical play with geometric form and vibrant colors transcending the minimal lines of European constructivism and imbuing his work with an exuberant rhythm that resonated with the avant-garde music and poetry of his native Brazil. In the late 1950s, Oiticica would go on to become a leading figure of Brazilian Neo-Concretism (1959-61) that included other ground breaking artists such as Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape and the poet Ferreira Gullar, ultimately giving rise to the artistic movement known as Tropicalismo, named for a work of Oiticica’s from 1967.

Increasingly, Oiticica became a countercultural figure and underground hero, foregrounding bodily interaction with spatial and environmental concerns over pure aesthetics. “Ambient art,” he wrote, “is the overthrow of the traditional concept of painting-frame and sculpture – that belongs to the past. It gives way to the creation of ‘ambiences’: from there arises what I call ‘anti-art,’” which he later defined as “the era of the popular participation in the creative field.” This generous and generative practice would become highly influential for subsequent generations of artists, especially his Parangolés or ‘habitable paintings’ and all-encompassing series of installations, known variously as Núcleos (ceiling-hung geometric panels forming gradual chromatic experiences) and Propositions or Penetrables (labyrinth-like architectural environments made of sand and semi-permeable cabins). This supra-sensorial approach continued until his untimely death in 1980 at the age of 42.  

Oiticica’s work has been the subject of major recent museum exhibitions, including the critically acclaimed retrospective Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium, which debuted at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Philadelphia in 2016 and traveled to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2017. Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Color was exhibited at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2006-2007 and in London at the Tate Modern in 2007. His work is included in the collections of numerous international institutions including Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Inhotim Centro de Arte Contemporãnea, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, USA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA; Tate Modern, London, UK; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA; the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and the Pérez Art Museum Miami, FL, USA, among others. The Projeto Hélio Oiticica was established in Rio de Janeiro in 1980 to manage the artist’s estate.

Upcoming Projects

Current & Recent Projects:

Hélio Oiticica: Penetrável Macaléia, Perez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL, USA, ongoing exhibition

Subterranean Tropicália Projects: PN15 1971/2022, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY, USA, 14 May – 14 August, 2022

PN 23 Penetrável, Magic Square 3 - Invention of Color 1978, Centro Hélio Oiticica, Brasília, Brazil, opened 30 April, 2022

Assembly Required, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, MO, USA, 4 March - 31 July, 2022

Tropicália, Penetrables PN 2 'Purity is a myth' and PN 3 'Imagetical'

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Tropicália, Penetrables PN 2 'Purity is a myth' and PN 3 'Imagetical'

1966-67
Wooden structures, fabric, plastic, carpet, wire mesh, tulle, patchouli, sandalwood, television, sand, gravel, plants, birds and poems by Roberta Camila Salgado

Tropicália, Penetrables PN 2 'Purity is a myth' and PN 3 'Imagetical'

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Tropicália, Penetrables PN 2 'Purity is a myth' and PN 3 'Imagetical'

1966-67
Wooden structures, fabric, plastic, carpet, wire mesh, tulle, patchouli, sandalwood, television, sand, gravel, plants, birds and poems by Roberta Camila Salgado

Untitled (Metaesquema)

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Untitled (Metaesquema)

1958
Gouache on cardboard
49.7 x 67.2 cm
19 5/8 x 26 1/2 in

Metaesquema

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Metaesquema

1958
Oil on canvas
74 x 61 cm
29 1/8 x 24 in

Oiticica in Tropicália

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Oiticica in Tropicália

1969
Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK

Untitled (Grupo Frente)

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Untitled (Grupo Frente)

1955
Gouache on cardboard
49.8 x 50 cm
19 5/8 x 19 5/8 in
Framed: 59 x 59 x 3 cm
Framed: 23 1/8 x 23 1/8 x 1 1/8 in

Relevo Espacial

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Relevo Espacial

1959-60
Polyvinyl acetate resin on plywood
98 x 120 x 20 cm
38 1/2 x 47 1/8 x 7 3/4 in

Relevo Espacial

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Relevo Espacial

1959-60
Installation image
HO in Motion
Lisson Gallery, Shanghai

Untitled (Metaesquema)

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Untitled (Metaesquema)

1958
Gouache on cardboard
55.1 x 64 cm
21 5/8 x 25 1/8 in

PN 28 Penetrable, Nas Quebradas

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
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
Edition 3 of 3

Untitled (Metaesquema)

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Untitled (Metaesquema)

1958
Gouache on cardboard
12 x 17.4 cm, 4 5/8 x 6 3/4 in
33 x 38.1 x 3.8 cm, 13 x 15 x 1 1/2 in

Penetrável Macaléia

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Penetrável Macaléia

1978
Stainless steel, coloured metal screens, sand, gravel, bricks and plants
220 x 220 x 220 cm

86 1/2 x 86 1/2 x 86 1/2 in
Collection of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), FL, USA - Now on view

B16 – Bolide – Box 12, “Archeological”

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
B16 – Bolide – Box 12, “Archeological”

1964-65
Polyvinyl acetate and vinyl-acrylic paint with earth on wood structure, nylon net, corrugated cardboard, mirror, glass, rocks, earth, and fluorescent lamp
14 1/2 x 51 5/8 x 20 1/2 in
37 x 131.2 x 52.1 cm
Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

Hunting Dogs Project (Projeto cães de caça)

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Hunting Dogs Project (Projeto cães de caça)

1961
Oil on wood, sand
26 x 161 x 161 cm
10 1/8 x 63 3/8 x 63 3/8 in

Hélio Oiticica

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Hélio Oiticica

2020
Installation view
Lisson Gallery, New York, NY, USA

Ready Constructible 1

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Ready Constructible 1

1978
Wood, bricks, and earth
47.3 x 54.9 x 54.9 cm
18 5/8 x 21 5/8 x 21 5/8 in

Sêco 1

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Sêco 1

1956
Gouache on cardboard
39 x 43 cm
15 1/4 x 16 7/8 in

Bilateral

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Bilateral

1959
Oil on wood
180 x 160 x 5 cm
70 7/8 x 63 x 2 in

Untitled (Grupo Frente)

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Untitled (Grupo Frente)

1955
Carbon print and gouache on paper
30.6 x 40.8 cm
12 x 16 1/8 in
Framed: 58.5 x 66.3 x 3 cm
Framed: 23 x 26 x 1 1/8 in

Invenção da Cor, Penetrável Magic Square #5, De Luxe

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Invenção da Cor, Penetrável Magic Square #5, De Luxe

1977
Overhead view

Invenção da Cor, Penetrável Magic Square #5, De Luxe

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Invenção da Cor, Penetrável Magic Square #5, De Luxe

1977
Painting on masonry walls, metal and glass roofing, fencing, pebble
Installation
Collection of Inhotim Museum, Brazil

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

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
B24 Bólide caixa 13, variação de Bólide caixa 01 (B24 Box Bólide 13, variation of Box Bólide 1)

1965/2010
Acrylic on wood
32 x 22.5 x 21.5 cm
12 5/8 x 8 7/8 x 8 1/2 in

Detail of B24 Bólide

Estate of Hélio Oiticica
Detail of B24 Bólide

1965/2010

Exhibitions

  1. Hélio Oiticica

    Hélio Oiticica

    26 April – 25 June 2022

  2. Pavilions

    Pavilions

    14 January – 12 February 2022

  3. Hélio Oiticica: HO in Motion

    Hélio Oiticica: HO in Motion

    2 September – 30 October 2021

  4. Selected works in London

    Selected works in London

    8 December 2020 – 12 January 2021

  5. FOCUS: Hélio Oiticica, Metaesquema

    FOCUS: Hélio Oiticica, Metaesquema

    2 November – 16 November 2020

  6. Hélio Oiticica

    Hélio Oiticica

    28 October 2020 – 23 January 2021

Publications

  1. Hélio Oiticica

    Hélio Oiticica

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