Hélio Oiticica: Folding The Frame

Hardcover | February 3, 2016

byIrene V. Small

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Hélio Oiticica (1937–80) was one of the most brilliant Brazilian artists of the 1960s and 1970s. He was a forerunner of participatory art, and his melding of geometric abstraction and bodily engagement has influenced contemporary artists from Cildo Meireles and Ricardo Basbaum to Gabriel Orozco, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, and Olafur Eliasson. This book examines Oiticica’s impressive works against the backdrop of Brazil’s dramatic postwar push for modernization.

From Oiticica’s late 1950s experiments with painting and color to his mid-1960s wearable Parangolés, Small traces a series of artistic procedures that foreground the activation of the spectator. Analyzing works, propositions, and a wealth of archival material, she shows how Oiticica’s practice recast—in a sense “folded”—Brazil’s utopian vision of progress as well as the legacy of European constructive art. Ultimately, the book argues that the effectiveness of Oiticica’s participatory works stems not from a renunciation of art, but rather from their ability to produce epistemological models that reimagine the traditional boundaries between art and life.

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From the Publisher

Hélio Oiticica (1937–80) was one of the most brilliant Brazilian artists of the 1960s and 1970s. He was a forerunner of participatory art, and his melding of geometric abstraction and bodily engagement has influenced contemporary artists from Cildo Meireles and Ricardo Basbaum to Gabriel Orozco, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, and Olafur ...

Irene V. Small is assistant professor in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, where she is also an affiliated faculty member in the Program in Latin American Studies and the Program in Media and Modernity.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 10 × 8.5 × 1.1 inPublished:February 3, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022626016X

ISBN - 13:9780226260167

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Note on the Text
Introduction

1. The Folded and the Flat
2. The Cell and the Plan
3. Ready-Constructible Color
4. What a Body Can Do

Coda
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“This impressive text on Oiticica is the most profound investigation of his work to date. I have rarely come across such a compelling and exhaustive account of a Brazilian artist from this period. Small’s book proves that Oiticica’s ‘folding the frame’ was much more than a simple experimental turn: it was, single-handedly, the ultimate folding of modern abstraction into its many unexpected, antithetical, and promising alter-forms.”