Cosmic Shelter: Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida’s Private Cosmococas

Cosmic Shelter: Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida’s Private Cosmococas

Hunter College

October 10, 2023
Cosmic Shelter: Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida’s Private Cosmococas
October 12, 2023–March 30, 2024
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Opening reception: October 12, 6:30–9pm, free and open to the public
Hunter College Art Galleries
Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery
132 E. 68th Street
New York, NY
United States

In the mid-1960s, Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica (1937–80) began embracing joyously transgressive modes of performance, film, and installation that championed marginalized persons and their cultures. Created while Oiticica was self-exiled to New York in the 1970s, the immersive 1973 installation series of Bloco-Experiências in Cosmococa–Programa in Progress, or Cosmococas, operate on multiple levels to transform pop and underground culture into a psychedelic experience. Made in collaboration with the Brazilian filmmaker Neville D’Almeida (b. 1941), for each of the five original Cosmococas the artists crafted two sets of instructions: one for public institutional presentations and, in an anti-elitist effort, another for display in private homes. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Cosmococas, the artist’s nonprofit foundation, the Projeto Hélio Oiticica, has organized a year-long celebration for 2023, during which the series has been installed in cities around the world. 

The Hunter College Art Galleries have joined the initiative to present Cosmic Shelter: Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida’s Private Cosmococas at the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery this fall. The exhibition features the United States premiere of two private Cosmococas and includes archival material to provide historical context for the layers of political commentary imbued into the subversive, playful series.

Curated by Daniela Mayer. The exhibition was developed in conjunction with a two-semester independent study by Hunter College MA Art History students Thais Bignardi, Rowan Diaz-Toth, and Angelica Pomar. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Hunter College Foundation, Leon Tovar Gallery, Lisson Gallery, and Sokoloff + Associates.

Hunter College Art Galleries
The Hunter College Art Galleries have been a vital part of the New York cultural landscape since their inception over forty years ago. Under the auspices of the Department of Art and Art History, the galleries provide a space for critical engagement with art and pedagogy, bringing together historical scholarship, contemporary artistic practice, and experimental methodology. The Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery focuses on presenting historical and scholarly exhibitions and programming that provide new scholarship on important and often under-represented artists and art movements. Located on Hunter’s main campus, the gallery also hosts the BFA degree exhibition each semester.

For more information about exhibitions and public programs visit here.

Press contact
Tara Ohanian, Hunter College Art Galleries, to223 [​at​]

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Hunter College
October 10, 2023

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