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In this article, Hélio Oiticica explains what he means by the terms “color,” “time,” “structure,” and even “space” as applied to his work, underscoring the interrelationships between these elements and the organic nature of his art. He describes in detail his decision to reject the traditional structure of the frame, and discusses his creation of objects in space, his installation of environments, and the active involvement of the viewer in these works of art. Oiticica explains the interaction of white, yellow, orange, and red light in his concept of “color-light,” and emphasizes that time is the major factor in an artistic experience, thereby revealing the architectural and musical aspect of his projects. He thus underscores the symbolic nature of time’s influence on art, as well as the importance of intuition in the gestation of a work of art. In his article, Oiticica mentions the Brazilian critic Ferreira Gullar’s theories and the phenomenological concepts proposed by the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, all within the context of his body of work.
O artista Hélio Oiticica apresenta as concepções de cor, estrutura, espaço e tempo que balizam seu trabalho artístico. Destaca as inter-relações entre esses elementos e o caráter orgânico de sua obra. Explica o processo de ruptura com a estrutura do quadro, a criação de objetos espaciais e de ambientes, bem como a participação do espectador nesses trabalhos. Vincula o branco, o amarelo, o laranja e o vermelho-luz ao conceito de cor-luz. Aponta o tempo como fator primordial da experiência artística. Chama atenção para o sentido arquitetônico e musical de seus trabalhos. Assinala o caráter simbólico do tempo na arte e a importância da intuição na gênese da obra. Menciona teorias do crítico brasileiro Ferreira Gullar e do filósofo Maurice Merleau-Ponty, que estabelecem as referências de sua produção.
This article presents the theoretical underpinnings of Hélio Oiticica’s work in the late 1950s when he was producing his series Invenções, Bilaterais, Relevos Espaciais, Núcleos, and Penetráveis. These projects illustrated his process as he rejected the use of the traditional picture frame and the idea of “support” for a painting in the works that he created in real space and then developed into environments, eventually orchestrating the viewer’s active involvement in the work of art. Oiticica clearly expresses both his commitment to the concept of a “non-object,” and Ferreira Gullar’s theoretical critique of (São Paulo) concrete art. Beginning in 1954—when he was a member of the Grupo Frente led by Ivan Serpa—writing about what he was doing became an integral part of his creative process. Oiticica did not sign the Manifesto Neoconcreto in 1959, but the following year he took part in the Segunda Exposição Neoconcreta, and became one of its main spokesmen in the areas of the theoretical and practical expressions of the constructive avant-garde.
Hélio Oiticica (1937–80) was a Brazilian Neo-Concrete artist. He started studying painting with Ivan Serpa in 1954 at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro. He later joined the Grupo Frente and the Neo-Concrete movement. In addition to his geometric paintings, which he worked on while he was studying with Serpa and was a member of the Grupo Frente, Oiticica produced performance and participatory art. His Parangolés (1964)—capes made with fabrics and recycled materials—were worn by the Mangueira Samba School during their performances. Oiticica also created immersive spaces, such as Nucleus (1959–60), which was an installation constructed from suspended painted wooden slats inspired by the Constructivism of Piet Mondrian. In 1967 Oiticica created the immersive environment Tropicália at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. Tropicália was an installation consisting of rooms with plants and materials such as water, sand and stones, a parrot, a television set, and various other elements that were representative of Brazilian popular culture. The environment was designed to promote sensory stimulation. Oiticica applied the same principles to Eden, the installation he created in 1969 at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. The name Tropicália was used by Brazilian musicians to describe a new style that combined international music and pop with traditional Brazilian music. The term “Tropicália” was absorbed into popular Brazilian culture and came to signify a uniquely Brazilian essence. In 1970 Oiticica took part in the group exhibition Information at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
For more examples of Oiticica’s thoughts on Brazilian art in the late 1960s and early 1970s, see the essay “Esquema geral da nova objetividade” [doc. no. 1110372], the article “Aparecimento do suprasensorial na arte brasileira” [doc. no. 1110620], and the complementary text on his theory of color “A transição da côr do quadro para o espaço e o sentido de construtividade” [doc. no. 1110351].
O documento apresenta as bases teóricas da produção de Hélio Oiticica a partir do final década de cinqüenta, quando o artista desenvolve, sucessivamente, as séries Invenções, Bilaterais, Relevos Espaciais, Núcleos e Penetráveis. Esses trabalhos caracterizam o processo de abandono da moldura e do suporte do quadro para a realização de obras que se inscrevem no espaço real e, em seguida, se desdobram na criação de ambientes e na incorporação da ação do espectador. O texto expõe a adesão de Oiticica à concepção de não-objeto e às críticas ao concretismo formuladas por Ferreira Gullar. A partir de 1954, a escrita tornou-se um hábito de Oiticica e passou a integrar seu processo criativo. Ele não assinou o Manifesto Neoconcreto, de 1959, mas participou, no ano seguinte, da II Exposição Neoconcreta, sendo um dos principais representantes desse movimento de revisão dos pressupostos teóricos e práticos das vanguardas construtivas. Ver também: GULLAR, Ferreira. Teoria do não-objeto. Jornal do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, 21 nov./20/dez. 1960; OITICICA, Hélio. Amílcar de Castro. Habitat, São Paulo, n. 83, maio/ jun. 1965; OITICICA, Hélio. A transição da cor do quadro para o espaço e o sentido de construtividade. Habitat, São Paulo, n. 70, dez. 1962; OITICICA, Hélio. Sobre o "Projeto Cães de Caça". In: Aspiro ao grande labirinto. Rio de Janeiro: Rocco, 1986.
g- Arte neoconcreta
g- Contribuição de artistas ao projeto construtivo brasileiro