How Tropicália challenged the traditional boundaries of art


Discover the artist Hélio Oiticica – one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.

The Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica challenged the traditional boundaries of art. He made the viewer an active participant in his work, now seen as a major moment in the development of contemporary art.

Hélio Oiticica was part of the Tropicália movement in Brazil, spanning the visual arts, music and film. The term Tropicália was first given to a pair of installations by Oiticica, a song by Caetano Veloso, and an LP released in 1968, featuring artists such as Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa and the psychedelic band Os Mutantes.

The 1960s saw an explosion of cultural creativity in Rio de Janerio and São Paulo as Brazil’s military regime tightened its grip on power. Tropicália became a way for artists to expose the contradictions of modernization under such an authoritarian rule.

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