Lisson Gallery presents retrospective of Hélio Oiticica's work

Exhibition highlights the great influence of the artist from Rio de Janeiro on the development of international contemporary art

In the photo are two works by Oiticica: A Spatial Relief from 1959-60 and the Penetrable in the Quebradas 1979. (Credit: © Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery)

For the first time in 15 years, the work of the artist from Rio Hélio Oiticica will receive a retrospective in London. The exhibition takes place at the traditional Lisson Gallery, which started to represent the artist’s collection worldwide in 2019, and is curated by Ann Gallagher, who was also responsible for the exhibition. Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Color, presented by the museum Tate Modern in 2007. 

The exhibition aims not only to highlight Oiticica's artistic production, but also to highlight his influence and contribution to international contemporary art. For this purpose, the exhibition goes through different periods of Oiticica's career, leading the visitor to discover his work through an extensive and rich collection. 

Mescheme 1958. (Credit: © Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery)

Among the works presented are a series of the famous Metaschemas, understood as the original cells of the artist's work, through which he begins to explore colors, shapes and space, culminating in three-dimensional creations. A rarely exhibited piece is also on display, belonging to the series of three-dimensional works Spatial Relief, which allows the visitor to move around it, being able to study it from different points of view and experience its physical presence in space. 

B47 Bólide box 22 “Body Diving” 1966-67. (Credit: © Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery)

Another important moment in the artist's life will be represented by the exhibition of a collection of Bolides, a series of works by the artist made from 1963 onwards, which marks a decisive moment in Oiticica's career. With this series he began to involve viewers in his work, allowing them to touch and manipulate his works, transcending the limits of the visual and transforming the relationship between viewer and object. 

B34 Bolide Basin 01 1965-66. (Credit: © Estate of Hélio Oiticica, Courtesy Lisson Gallery)

There is still on the way the installation in the Quebradas, from 1979, an intense multisensory experience in which the visitor is invited to discover the work by entering and walking inside it. This work is part of a series of works by the artist known as penetrable, which had a huge influence on conceptual arts and are one of the first examples of something that is now widely disseminated in contemporary art: installations. 

Hélio Oiticica's legacy for international contemporary art is absolutely indisputable. For anyone in town or passing through the English capital in the coming months: a must stop!


Hélio Oiticica

Location: Lisson Gallery 

Address: 27 Bell Street, London (England)

Date: April 26 to June 25, 2022

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm 

Ticket: Free

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