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Hélio Oiticica: The Great Labyrinth

The most comprehensive retrospective on the prominent Brazilian artist to date, now at the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
Sep 2013

The most comprehensive retrospective on the prominent Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980) to take place to date will present works from all phases of his career at the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt/Main.

Originally a painter, Oiticica already began realizing ideas for extending art into space in the early 1960s. These activities made him a pioneer of participatory art, i.e. art which opens up new realms of experience through the viewer's active participation. His oeuvre encompasses his early neo-Concrete abstract paintings, reliefs which float freely in space, and room installations which can be entered and explored by the visitor. During a stay of several years in New York in the seventies, he engaged in intensive exchange with American and European avant-garde artists of the time.

Concurrently with Joseph Beuys in Germany, Oiticica likewise strove to dissolve the finalized character of artworks and to make art accessible to society and vice versa. His usable works, performances and environments as well as his writings – which will also be included in the show – will convey these ideas to striking effect.

In cooperation with the Frankfurt Palmengarten, the exhibition will be enhanced by three works to be presented at the Palmengarten Frankfurt from 31 August to 27 October 2013. The walk-in pavilions (Pentetráveis) developed by Oiticica in the seventies create special realms of perception and interaction for the visitors. During the show, interventions by contemporary artists will take place in one of the three pavilions, Penetrável P.N. 14: performances with sound, lectures and dance as well as a film series. The programme was developed jointly by students of the masters course in “Curatorial Studies – Theorie – Geschichte – Kritik” (Goethe-Universität and Städelschule) and the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main.

The retrospective is being curated by César Oiticica Filho and Fernando Cocchiarale in cooperation with Peter Gorschlüter, deputy director of the MMK.

The exhibition is part of the programme on the culture of Brazil as the guest of honour at the 2013 Frankfurt Book Fair, and is being made possible with support from the FUNARTE / MinC – Brazilian Ministry of Culture and the MRE – Brazilian Foreign Ministry and the artEDU Foundation.

Press conference at the MMK:
Thursday, 26 Sept. 2013 at 11 am
Opening at the MMK:
Friday, 27 Sept. 2013 at 8 pm

(Press information, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt/Main)

Hélio Oiticica: The Great Labyrinth

28 September 2013 - 12 January 2014

MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst

Domstrasse 10
60311 Frankfurt am Main


César Oiticica Filho, Fernando Cocchiarale


Exhibited before in Belém, São Paulo,

Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, Brazil,

and at the Museu Coleção Berardo

in Lisbon, Portugal


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