Hélio Oiticica Neoconcrete Relief 1960

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 507 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

Limited to two colors on shaped wood, Neoconcrete Relief diverges from the traditional format and function of a painting as a rectangular canvas on which figures or shapes are depicted. Instead, it asserts itself three-dimensionally into the environment. As Oiticica wrote, “The wall here serves not as a background but as an extraneous, unlimited space, though necessary to the vision of the work.”

Gallery label from 2022
Additional text

Neoconcrete Relief is simultaneously a painting and an object that questions the identity and function of both: a three–dimensional plane, whose presence in the exhibition space implies a physical encounter between the viewer and the work. The artist wrote, "The wall here serves not as a background but as an extraneous, unlimited space, though necessary to the vision of the work." It belongs to a group of paintings that Oiticica conceived as manifestos for a break with the traditional rectangular picture plane. Limited to two colors on wood, it is a nonrepresentational work in which the plane functions actively, rather than as a support for figures or colors.

Gallery label from 2006
Oil on wood
37 7/8 x 51 1/4" (96 x 130 cm)
Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in honor of Gary Garrels
Object number
© 2024 Projeto Hélio Oiticica
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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The artist.
1998 - 2004, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York, and Caracas, purchased through Galeria César Aché, Rio de Janeiro.
2004, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired as gift from Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.

Exhibition history

MoMA Exh. #1931: "Painting and Sculpture: Inaugural Installation", 4th Floor, gallery 23, November 20, 2004 - December 11, 2006

As of August 23, 2005, 4th Floor, gallery 23 has been renumbered as 4th Floor, gallery 24.

Austin, Blanton Museum of Art, "The Geometry of Hope: Latin American Geometrical Abstraction from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection", February 17, 2007 - April 5, 2007

MoMA Exh. #2022: "New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930-2006: Selections from a Decade of Acquisitions", 3rd Floor, November 21, 2007 - February 25, 2008

Albany, New York State Museum, "Latin American and Caribbean Art: Selected Highlights from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art", May 17 - October 13, 2008

MoMA Exh. #2226: "Painting and Sculpture Changes 2013", 4th Floor, gallery 26, added December 20, 2013 - January 13, 2015

Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art, "Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium", October 1, 2016 - January 2, 2017 and tour:
Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, February 9 - May 7, 2017
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, July 14 - October 1, 2017

MoMA Exh. #2424: "Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift", 3rd Floor, 3 East, October 21, 2019 - September 12, 2020

MoMA Exh. #2467: "Collection: 1880s-1940s”, 5th Floor, gallery 507, "Katarzyna Kobro,
Shaping Space", August 6, 2021 -


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