Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium
Jul 14–Oct 1, 2017


A female figure stands in the interior of a rectangular, immersive space covered by panels on three sides.

Hélio Oiticica (b. 1937), PN1 Penetrable (PN1 Penetrável), 1960. César and Claudio Oiticica Collection, Rio de Janeiro. © César and Claudio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro.

Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium is the first full-scale retrospective in the United States of the Brazilian artist’s work. One of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, Oiticica’s early work began with formal, geometric investigations in painting and drawing and soon moved into large scale "spatial reliefs," exploding his two-dimensional works into three-dimensional compositions. For the artist, these works were completed only when viewers interacted with them. That aim reached fruition as his career advanced and his work took on an increasingly immersive nature, transforming the viewer from a spectator to an active participant. The exhibition will include some of these large scale installations, including Tropicalia and Eden. Oiticica spent a formative time in New York in the 1970s, engaging with the city and other artists, and extended his work into filmmaking, slide show environments, and concrete poetry before returning to Brazil. In addition to viewing original works on display, visitors will be invited to wear and manipulate exhibition copies of the artist’s interactive works.

Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium is curated by Lynn Zelevansky, The Henry J. Heinz II Director, Carnegie Museum of Art; Elisabeth Sussman, Curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art; James Rondeau, President and Eloise W. Martin Director, 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.

This exhibition is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Support for the national tour of this exhibition is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

In New York, generous support is provided by Art&Art Collection, Tony Bechara, Renata and Claudio Garcia, and the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the Evelyn Toll Family Foundation.

Generous endowment support is also provided by The Keith Haring Foundation Exhibition Fund.