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Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium

July 14–Oct 1, 2017

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 (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 organized by Lynn Zelevansky, The Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art, Elisabeth Sussman, Curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, James Rondeau, the President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Donna De Salvo, Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art.