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.

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.

Duration 26 April 2022 - 25 June 2022
Times Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Cost Free
Venue Lisson Gallery (27 Bell St)
Address 27 Bell Street, London, NW1 5BY
Contact 4402077242739 / contact@lissongallery.com / www.lissongallery.com

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