One of the highlights of Art Basel 2019’s Unlimited sector is Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica’s rarely-seen multi-sensorial installation of color Penetrável Filtro (1972). The artwork “invites viewers into one of the Brazilian artist’s seminal environments. Oiticica investigated color in space in a cohesive, continuous oeuvre until his untimely death in 1980. He began with the ‘Grupo Frente,’ ‘Sêco,’ and ‘Metaesquema’ series of drawings, and then liberated his painting into space with series entitled ‘Bilateral,’ ‘Relevos Espaciais,’ ‘Bólide,’ ‘Núcleo,’ ‘Penetrável,’ and ‘Parangolé.’ Not only are the ‘Penetrables’ a natural progression in Oiticica’s own work, but also within the continuum of the art historical canon. Oiticica avowed, ‘It is not a matter of copying Mondrian, but of blazing the trail for a painting of pure color, space, time and structure.’ One of the largest of the series, Penetrável Filtro takes the participant through a labyrinthine structure of multiple corridors and curtains of green, blue, yellow, and orange, ending the experience by drinking the final color in a glass of orange juice. Although the ‘Penetrables’ were created in the 1960s and 1970s, the physical experience of engaging in and with the works activates them in the present moment.” (excerpt from the info text).
Hélio Oiticica: Penetrável Filtro (1972) / Galerie Lelong & Co. at Art Basel Unlimited 2019. Basel, Switzerland, June 12, 2019.
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