Studio International

Published 21/08/2007

Caroline Menezes

1. Born in Puerto Rico, Mari Carmen Ramirez is Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where 'Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Colour' was displayed from December 2006 to April 2007. Ramirez edited the exhibition catalogue, Oiticica: The Body of Colour.
2. At the end of the sixites, Oiticica spent a year in London and, in 1969, was the subject of an exhibit at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. The largest show ever held for the artist, it was organized as a continuous participatory environment for visitors to interact with his paintings, sculptures and installations.
3. The Brazilian Constructivist Movement had two divergent tendencies. The first one, exemplified by the São Paulo-based Grupo Ruptura, was predominantly influenced by Geometric Abstractionism and the theory of pure visibility. The artists working in this mode had a single style and strict creative process rules. The second group, the neo-Concretists, in Rio de Janeiro, was against strong rationalism, and their techniques were more innovative. Both groups shared as their main aesthetic concern the pictorial elements in art, such as colour, shapes and lines, without figurative references.
4. The non-object theory was first published in 1960 in the Suplemento Dominical, the Sunday cultural supplement of Jornal do Brasil, one of the most important Brazilian newspapers at the time, as a contribution to the second neo-Concretist exhibition. Written by the poet and art critic Ferreira Gullar, the text compiled the main thoughts that were guiding the artistic group.
5. Oiticica worked as actor in minor roles in some of Ivan Cardoso's horror films. In fact, Cardoso shot a second documentary on Oiticica, Meia noite com Glauber, in 1997. Cardoso is developing a third documentary on the artist, focusing on Oiticica's biography.
6. For an in-depth look at Oiticica's exhibit at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, see Guy Brett and Luciano Figueiredo (eds) Oiticica in London (London: Tate Publishing, 2007). The book includes facsimiles of the Whitechapel catalogue, critical essays on the artist and the exhibit, interviews with Oiticica's contemporaries and translations of the artist's writings.