The Great Labyrinth by Hélio Oiticica

Hélio Oiticica, Tropicália, 1967, installation view: Museu é o mundo at Museu Histórico do Estado do Pará, 2011, photo: César Oiticica Filho, courtesy of MMK Frankfurt

Devotees of South American contemporary art will doubtlessly be familiar with the inimitable , most widely known for his contributions to the neo-Concrete movement and the jaunty, effervescent use of colours in his installations. His most famous series of works, the Parangolés mobile sculptures, combined layers of plastic, fabric and matting which could then be worn by performers and ordinary people from all over Brazil. Oiticica’s untimely demise in 1980 of a stroke has done nothing to diminish his influence as an important figure in the history of modern art, as a new exhibition at the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt demonstrates.

Promising “the most comprehensive retrospective” on Oiticica’s work, the exhibition comprises walk-in pavilions (Pentetráveis) developed by Oiticica in the 1970s. These pavilions encourage greater interaction amongst visitors in the spirit of artistic accessibility and egalitarianism that Oiticica was a huge proponent of in his lifetime. During the show, interventions by contemporary artists will take place in one of the pavilions, and the exhibition also boasts lectures, dances, and a film series. Prepare to be blown away by the performances and paintings – all of which are deeply and evidently resonant with the joyous celebration of life that Oiticica’s aesthetic is now remembered for. 

The Great Labyrinth will run from 28 September to 12 January.

, Domstrasse 10, 60311 Frankfurt am Main

All images courtesy of Projeto Hélio Oiticica and the museum.

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