Ernesto Neto - BRIC London Thursday, April 14, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo

  • Catalogue Essay

    Ernesto Neto emerged onto the international scene in the 1990s with installations that invite the viewer to enter, relax, touch, smell and play. Designed to create a sense of ease, his environments are often formed by soft, semi-translucent material, tensioned and counterbalanced by weights made of the same stretchy material, containing substances such as polystyrene pellets, or fragrant spices like clove and cinnamon. These highly seductive structures soon brought Neto international renown, leading him to become – as is the case with fellow Brazilian Beatriz Milhazes – one of his country’s most sought-after artists.
    Neto and his peers came of age as Brazil’s military regime gave way to democracy. Fragile and often inadequate as that transition may have been, the era was characterised by a sense of unrestrained joy which differentiated his generation substantially from its immediate predecessors. Neto was distinct, however, in that his work clearly followed a sculptural agenda, as opposed to the widespread re-emergence of painting more characteristic of this period’s artists. Nor did he reject the generation that preceded him; on the contrary, he still refers to their influence to this day.
    Much of Neto’s work invokes – either through its form, title, or a combination of both – science fiction and biomorphism. His obsession with spacecraft and sci-fi could perhaps be explained by an experience he had at school, whereupon being asked by his teacher what he would like to be when he grew up, he answered “an astronaut”. The teacher’s repressive response to this straightforward display of ambition had possibly as much impact on his future direction as his early fascination with space.Neto is a sculptor whose work has become increasingly connected with architectural form, and it is often possible to locate elements that arise from his structural solutions. In Broto Extase (2007), for instance, we can locate a means developed to connect elements in far more complex structures. It displays affinities with major commissions such as Leviathon Thot, which Neto installed at the Pantheon in Paris in 2006. The differently-coloured Lycra is usually associated with the meeting of distinct bodies, and here perhaps we find the artist bringing that metaphor to its most primal form.
    Dr. Michael Asbury

  • Artist Biography

    Ernesto Neto

    Brazilian • 1964

    Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto creates monumental installations and objects of diverse biomorphic shapes and forms that often occupy entire rooms. The works are primarily concerned with corporeality and visual seduction. Viewers are encouraged to participate with the works, and Neto engages the viewer's tactile and olfactory senses through different textures and scents, employing a myriad of synthetic non-traditional materials including nylon and polyamide fabrics, newspaper, nets and aromatic and boldly colored spices. Neto works around the space of the body, where the physical immersion into his works is like a continuation of his own body and mind.

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Broto Extase

Lycra tulle, Styrofoam pellets and wooden knobs.
133 × 143 × 6 cm (55 1/8 × 61 × 2 in).

£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £25,000


14 - 15 April 2011