Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica (1937 – 1980) is considered by many as one of the most revolutionary artists of his time. He is internationally recognized for his experimental and innovative abstract concepts of colors and shapes. Oiticica is also credited with the rise of the Tropicália movement of the 1960’s, which featured the colors, sounds and culture of Brazil in a multitude of art forms. The Berardo Collection Museum in Lisbon, pays tribute to Oiticica with a retrospective of his work. The exhibition Hélio Oiticica – Museu É o Mundo (Museum is the World), featuring 117 works, runs through 6 January 2013.



Early in his career, Oiticica was influenced by artists such as Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee and Kazimir Malevich. He created works of geometric shapes of secondary colors in mosaic-like paintings. His palette evolved into more subtle oranges, yellows, browns and reds, which he maintained for much of the rest of his life.

Hélio Oiticica metaesquema

A Metaesquema work from Hélio Oiticica

In the late 1950’s Oiticica began experimenting with painting outside of the frame and working in “immersive” pieces (in which the onlooker interacts or participates with the work). Paintings and hanging wooden sculptures became part of his effort. Eventually, the hanging sculptures grew quite large in scale.

Nucleo from Hélio Oiticica

Nucleo from Hélio Oiticica

Into the 1960s, Oiticica produced a series of small triangle shaped interactive sculptures called Bólides (fireballs) which had panels and doors which viewers could move and explore. These works led to interactive installations called Penetráveis (penetrables) which viewers could step into. The most influential of these was Tropicália (1967) which gave its name to the Tropicalismo movement.

For more information, visit the Berardo Collection Museum website.

Museu Colecção Berardo
Praça do Império
1449-003 Lisbon

Phone: +351 213 612 878

Exhibition Hours:
Sunday to Friday: 10:00 to 19:00
Saturday: 10:00 to 22:00

Entrance is free

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