Hélio Oiticica. Metaesquema. 1956

Hélio Oiticica Metaesquema 1956

  • Not on view

Geometric abstraction flourished from the 1930s through the 1970s in the art centers of Latin America, notably Buenos Aires, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro. Oiticica, who was based in Rio de Janeiro, experimented with geometric abstraction in the late 1950s. Works in the Metaesquemas series are composed of squares and rectangles, usually against a pale background, reflecting the influence of Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian. Arranged in a gridlike structure but without complete regularity, his shapes seem to rhythmically shift and float slightly off the surface of the paper.

Gallery label from Geo/Metric: Prints and Drawings from the Collection, June 11–August 18, 2008.
Gouache on incised board
18 1/8 x 20 1/2" (46 x 52.1 cm)
Purchased with funds given by Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in honor of Gilberto Chateaubriand
Object number
© 2020 Projeto Hélio Oiticica
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

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The artist.
? - 1997, Projeto Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro.
1997, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, purchased from Projeto Hélio Oiticica.

Exhibition history

MoMA Exh. #1972: "Transforming Chronologies: An Atlas of Drawings, Part Two", The Paul J. Sachs Drawings Galleries, May 10 - October 2, 2006

MoMA Exh. #2022: "New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930-2006: Selections from a Decade of Acquisitions," November 21, 2007 - February 25, 2008

MoMA Exh. #2041: "Geo/Metric: Prints and Drawings from the Collection," Second floor special exhibition galleries, June 11 - August 18, 2008

New York, Met Breuer, "Delirious: Art and the Irrational, 1950-1980", September 13, 2017 - January 14, 2018

MoMA Exh. #2424, "Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction―The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift", 3rd Floor, East Gallery, [The Robert B. Menschel Galleries], October 21, 2019 -


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