Hélio Oiticica (1937 – 1980) is widely regarded as one of Brazil’s leading artists of the twentieth century and a touchstone for much contemporary art made since the 1960s, primarily through his freewheeling, participatory works of art, performative environments, avant-garde films and abstract paintings.
Presented in collaboration with Projeto Hélio Oiticica and Americas Society, this immersive environment is the first realization of a never-before-executed idea by the late Brazilian artist. Oiticica envisioned the work in 1971, as part of a series of Subterranean Tropicália Projects for Central Park, while he was living in New York City, drawing inspiration from the thriving underground culture. The circular structure of curving corridors provides visitors with a sensory multi-sensory experience and a space for the public to collectively engage in auto-performance. The 40 feet diameter environment, with plants and image projections, creates a play of light, shadow, opacity, framing, and orientation. It is a space for collective creativity and leisure, dubbed “creleisure” by the artist.
Image: Katherine Abbott Photography