Hélio Oiticica produced his series of "Metaesquemas", of approximately 350 pieces, short before he joined the neo-concrete movement in 1960. In those years, this group of artists—including Ferreira Gullar, Franz Weissmann and Lygia Clark—demanded the restoration of expressive possibilities for art creation, as opposed to the rationalism of concrete art. In the "Metaesquemas", Oiticica works mainly on plane and composition. Generally, the paintings are made up of several quadrants laid out in a grid—a key structure in modern art—which serves as a basic organizational scheme. Nonetheless, such order is altered by the irregularity of one-color figures that can be fully painted or just outlined. Causing tension and disruption in the perceptual schemes linked to the Gestalt principles that São Paulo concrete artists used—such as symmetry and regularity—was essential in Oiticica’s research during the late nineteen-fifities. He named these pieces "Metaesquemas" only in the seventies, when the series was presented at the Ralph Camargo gallery in São Paulo. The artist himself described it as an “obsessive dissection of space.”


  • Title: Meta-scheme
  • Creator: Hélio Oiticica
  • Date Created: 1958
  • Physical Dimensions: 39.5 × 57.4 cm
  • Provenance: Malba Collection
  • Medium: Gouache on cardboard

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