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UAL Research Online

Oiticica in London

Brett, Guy and Figueiredo, Luciano (2007) Oiticica in London. Tate Publishing. ISBN 9781854377470

Type of Research: Book
Creators: Brett, Guy and Figueiredo, Luciano

Quite early in my career as an art critic, I organised what today is considered a historically significant exhibition: ‘Helio Oiticica’ at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1969. Despite this recognition, very little information on the events that led to it have been available to the public, apart from work by the author such as “Hélio Oiticica’s ‘Whitechapel Experiment’” (The Whitechapel Art Gallery Centenary Review, Whitechapel Gallery, 2001) and contribution to events such as “Hélio Oiticica: the Hard Questions”, Whitechapel Gallery (panellist) 2002.
Through this book, however, which accompanies an exhibition organised by me at Tate Modern, I was able to make a more full account of this specific cultural moment. I was also able to go beyond the display itself, combining personal testimonies, documents, essays by international scholars, contemporaneous poems by the artist himself and previously unpublished photographs of the event. It offers therefore new light into the work of Oiticica, which in recent years has been an increasingly explored field of study.

Official Website: http://www.tate.org.uk/shop/do/Books/Oiticica-London/product/34160
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Hélio Oiticica (1937-80) has come to be recognised as one of the most brilliant and innovative artists of the second half of the 20th century. Both artist and thinker, he developed a uniquely beautiful body of work. Synthesising the legacy of modernism, avant-garde experiment, Brazilian popular cultures born of adversity, and a radical philosophy of participation, he explored deeply the possibility of creative liberty in today's world.
At the end of the 1960s Oiticica spent a year in London, where, in 1969, he was invited to exhibit at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. The resulting exhibition, or Whitechapel Experiment as Oiticica preferred to call it, was the largest show he ever held and one of the most radical visual arts events of the period. It was structured as a continuous participatory environment for people, featuring paintings, sculpture and installation and culminating in Eden, built especially for the Whitechapel, a bare-foot, sensory, 'mind-settlement' of sand, cabins, beds and nests intended to stimulate among the public a form of creative reverie the artist called Creleisure. Oiticica was present at the gallery for much of the experiment, writing letters and meeting friends and fellow artists.
This crucial period in the artist's life has never been thoroughly investigated before. Featuring interviews of Oiticica's contemporaries that provide telling new insights, writings by the artist translated for the first time, essays by leading critics and facsimile pages of the original Whitechapel catalogue, this book captures not only a pivotal moment in the life and career of a unique artist but also in the development of the avant-garde in London.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Tate Publishing
Your affiliations with UAL: Research Centres/Networks > Transnational Art Identity and Nation (TrAIN)
Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Date: 2007
Related Websites: http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eventseducation/symposia/8808.htm
Related Websites:
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 22:50
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2010 14:16
Item ID: 1568
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1568

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