December 8, 2006 - Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) - Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Color
December 8, 2006

Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Color

Hélio Oiticica with P4 Parangolé, Cape 1, 1964. Still from HO, a film by Ivan Cardoso, 1979.
Photo by Ivan Cardoso. Collection of Ivan Cardoso, Rio de Janeiro. Copyright Ivan Cardoso.

Presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from December 10, 2006 through April 1, 2007,
Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Color is the first major museum exhibition to focus exclusively on the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticicas (1937-1980) radical and uncompromising approach to painting.

Comprising nearly 200 works, the exhibition traces the conceptual and technical processes that led to Oiticicas emancipation of color into space. Organized by the MFAH in collaboration with Projeto Hélio Oiticica, Brazil, The Body of Color displays the different series created throughout the artists career, shedding light on the various contexts and influences that nurtured their production, and demonstrating the rigor of his aesthetic inquiry. In an attempt to stay true to the broad inter-disciplinary scope of Oiticicas production, the exhibition also includes documentary materials, sketches, journals, plans, films, and maquettes. Following its presentation in Houston, the exhibition will travel to The Tate Museum, London, where it will show from June 7 through September 3, 2007.

The MFAHs Oiticica research project expands beyond the presentation of his work, encompassing an inventory of his artistic production through the organization and digitization of Oiticicas archive and the conservation of a large number of the works in the collection of Projeto Hélio Oiticica. The project is the most recent in the museums ongoing initiatives in charting the history of Latin American art in the 20th and 21st centuries. Oiticicas work was also featured in the critically acclaimed exhibition Inverted Utopias:Avant-Garde Art in Latin America at the MFAH in 2004.

Born in 1937 in Rio de Janeiro, Oiticica studied at the Escola do Museu do Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro. A member of the Grupo Frente and Neo-concrete movements in Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s and early 1960s, Oiticica moved to New York in 1970, where he lived until 1978, experimenting with film and multi-media works after receiving a Guggenheim fellowship. Oiticicas work has been exhibited internationally, and was presented in the United States for the first time in the 1988 exhibition The Brazil Projects at PSI in New York City. In 1994 a retrospective exhibition co-organized by Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris and Witte de With, Rotterdam, toured to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Following the artists death in 1980, Hélio Oiticicas family established Projeto Hélio Oiticica to preserve and present his substantial oeuvre. The artist would not sell his work and gave very little of it away. As a result, PHO owns about 95 Following the artists death in 1980, his family established Projeto Hélio Oiticica to preserve and present his substantial oeuvre. The artist would not sell his work and gave very little away. As a result, PHO owns about 95 percent of Oiticicas lifetime production. A wealth of documentary materials, including the artists notebooks and journals, supports this collection.
Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Color is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in collaboration with Projeto Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Mari Carmen Ramírez, the Wortham Curator of Latin American Art at the MFAH, is directing the installation in Houston. Major corporate sponsorship is provided by Petrobras. Additional generous funding is provided by The Bruce T. Halle Family Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation, Sothebys, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., and Samuel F. Gorman. (Funding is correct as of September 20, 2006.)

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Mari Carmen Ramírez, Curator of Latin American Art, MFAH; Wynne Phelan, Conservation Director, and Luciano Figueiredo, Director, Centro de Arte. The catalogue will be available through the MFAH Shops.

For information about Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Color, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org

Related
Share
More
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)
Share - Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Color
  • Share
Close
Next