Hélio Oiticica

Born 1937, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Died 1980, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Mid 1950s   Starts creating works of art strongly influenced by European art movements including Concrete art and De Stijl.  Becomes a member of Grupo Frente, founded by Ivan Serpa.  Oiticica’s early works consist of a palette of strong and bright colors and geometric shapes.  

1959   Is involved in the Neo-Concrete Movement with Lygia Clark, Franz Weissmann, and Lygia Pape.  This group rejects the objective nature of Concrete Art and uses phenomenology to create art expressing human realities.  This type of art also focuses on the viewer’s interaction within the artwork.  

Paints monochromes, Invencoes, consisting of small square wooden plaques embodying light.  

1960s   Produces series of small box shaped interactives Bólides comprised of panels and doors allowing viewer participation.  

1961   Disbandment of the Neo-Concrete Movement.  Oiticica and Clark move toward Conceptual Art focusing on culture.  Oiticica’s works take on a warmer palette.  

1965   Takes part in the “Soundings two” exhibition in London with Josef Albers, Constantine Brancusi, Lygia Clark, and Marcel Duchamp.     

1967   Creates Tropicália, a strong example of his penetráveis which viewers could step into and interact.  

1969   Solo exhibition at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London.  Resident artist at Sussex University, Brighton.  

1970s   Participates in “Information,” an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.  Begins devoting himself more to writing, corresponding with intellectuals, artists and writings included Silviano Santiago and Harold and Augusto de Campos.

2006   Major exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston which also travels to the Tate Modern in London.