Hélio Oiticica with Bólides and Parangolés in his studio in Rio de Janeiro c.1965
Hélio Oiticica, ‘Tropicália, Penetrables PN 2 ‘Purity is a myth’ and PN 3 ‘Imagetical’’ 1966–7
Hélio Oiticica
Tropicália, Penetrables PN 2 ‘Purity is a myth’ and PN 3 ‘Imagetical’ 1966–7
© Projeto Hélio Oiticica
Hélio Oiticica, ‘B17 Glass Bólide 05 ‘Homage to Mondrian’’ 1965
Hélio Oiticica
B17 Glass Bólide 05 ‘Homage to Mondrian’ 1965
© Projeto Hélio Oiticica

Supra-sensorial was about activating all the senses, in order to promote the idea of individual freedom. The brutal military dictatorship in Brazil during the 1960s and 1970s had caused Oiticica to advocate the radical potential of hanging out, rather than complying with society’s demands. He would invite the audience to walk barefoot on sand and straw or listen to Jimi Hendrix records while relaxing in a hammock.

More on Helio Oiticica

Past exhibition: Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Colour 2007
Exhibition guide providing an introduction to the artist and his early career.

‘Be an outlaw… Be a hero’
Artists and curators celebrate the influence of the Brazilian artist on their work.

Tate Etc. article: Living colour
Vincent Katz looks at the barrier-smashing art of Hélio Oiticica.

Tate Etc. article: Hélio and I
Brazilian musician and political activist met and and became friends with Oiticica in London in 1972. In this article he remembers his friend and the inspiration he provided.