Hélio Oiticica Retrospective at CMOA

CMOA to stage colorful, spectacular, immersive exhibition of Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica

Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium
Carnegie Museum of Art
October 1, 2016–January 2, 2017

High-resolution images are available.

Hélio Oiticica; PN1 Penetrable (PN1 Penetrável), 1960; Oil on wood; César and Claudio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro

Hélio Oiticica; “PN1 Penetrable (PN1 Penetrável),” 1960; Oil on wood; César and Claudio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro

Pittsburgh, PA…Visitors to the exhibition of Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980) at Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) can expect to walk across sand and pebbles, traverse bold, colorful structures, and say hello to a friendly Amazon parrot. That’s part of the experience of Tropicália (1966–67), a massive, multisensory installation at the heart of Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium.

If Tropicália is a kind of journey into the artist’s immersive work, then Eden (1969) is the destination. This huge installation includes spaces and structures for relaxation, reading, conversation, and music. Its surfaces provide tactile experiences for bare feet: strewn with sand or leaves, a pool of water. Occupying the majestic Hall of Sculpture at CMOA, it is rarely staged due to its size and complexity. The exhibition is the most complete retrospective of the artist to date, and the first to explore in depth his New York years (1971–78). Ambitious in scale, it presents a stunning array of paintings, interactive sculptures, audiovisual works, and environments across the museum’s expansive Heinz Galleries and Hall of Sculpture.

Hélio Oiticica in front of a poster for the play Prisoner of Second Avenue, in Midtown Manhattan, 1972; Facsimile of photograph; César and Claudio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, AHO/PHO 1931.72

Hélio Oiticica in front of a poster for the play Prisoner of Second Avenue, in Midtown Manhattan, 1972; Facsimile of photograph; César and Claudio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro

One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Oiticica first painted compositions made of geometric shapes that seemed to dance off the painted surface. He soon moved into creating immersive, experiential works, exploding color into three dimensions. For the artist, these works were completed only when viewers interacted with them. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, Oiticica moved further and further toward art that is intended for the viewer to manipulate, wear, and inhabit, including Parangolés, works to be carried or worn that often contain poetic or political messages only visible when the wearer is in motion, or Penetrables, colorful structures inspired by makeshift dwellings in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. While living in New York, Oiticica extended his work into filmmaking, slide show environments, and concrete poetry. Shortly before his return to Rio he again began inventing structures for human interaction.

Nildo of Mangueira wearing P15 Parangolé Cape 11, I Embody Revolt (P15 Parangolé capa 12, Eu incorporo a revolta, 1967), ca. 1968; Facsimile of photograph; César and Claudio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, AHO/PHO 1995.sd–p3

Nildo of Mangueira wearing “P15 Parangolé Cape 11, I Embody Revolt (P15 Parangolé capa 12, Eu incorporo a revolta, 1967),” ca. 1968; Facsimile of photograph; César and Claudio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro

Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium brings visually arresting, wholly original artwork to Pittsburgh for an experience unlike any other. After its CMOA presentation, the exhibition will travel to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Hélio Oiticica is organized by Lynn Zelevansky, Henry J. Heinz II Director, Carnegie Museum of Art; Elisabeth Sussman, Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art; James Rondeau, Dittmer Chair and Curator, Department Modern and Contemporary Art, The Art Institute of Chicago; and Donna De Salvo, Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art; with Anna Katherine Brodbeck, Associate Curator, Carnegie Museum of Art.

Support

Support for Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium is generously provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Carnegie Musuem of Art Fellows, the James H and Idamae B. Rich Exhibition Endowment Fund, Nancy and Woody Ostrow, and the Martin G. McGuinn Art Exhibition Fund.

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 

Carnegie Museum of Art

Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

 

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