Ernesto Neto - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, February 28, 2008 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Tanya Banakdar Gallery, Ernesto Neto, 29 March – 26 April, 1997; Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Material/Immaterial, 1997; Ridgefield, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Best of the Season- Selected Work from 1996-1997 Gallery Exhibitions, 14 September, 1997 – 4 January, 1998; Gainesville, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, 22 March, 1998 – 3 Januray, 1999; Knoxville, Knoxville Museum of Art, Spring 1999; Athens, Georgia, Museum of Art, Summer 1999; Norfolk, Chrysler Museum of Art, 29 October, 1999 – 2 January, 2000; Purchase, Neuberger Museum of Art, January – April, 2000, Inner Eye; Peekskill, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Reverence, 20 May, 2006 – 30 July, 2007

  • Literature

    Galeria Camargo Vilaça, ed., Ernesto Neto, Sao Paulo, 1997, pp. 33, 34 and 50 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    For his 1997 exhibition at theTanya Bonakdar Gallery in NewYork, his first solo show in America, Ernesto Neto filled the gallery space with Lycra sacks stuffed with colourful and aromatic substances such as chilli powder and turmeric.The title of each sculpture in the show, Piff, Paff (the present lot), Poff, Puff, Piff Piff and Puff Puff, onomatopoeically reflects the sound of the action required to install each work.The sculptures were arranged across the gallery in a specific manner so as to create abstract compositions of color, form and scent. Neto’s works also engage the viewer’s tactile senses; it is important to the artist that the viewer should actively interact with and physically experience his work through touch and immersion.
    I work around the space of the body, so I make art with a continuity to my own body as the producer of the work. I don’t want to make work that depicts a sensual body – I want it to be a body, exist as a body or as close to that as possible. Sex is basic. We all come from a sex relationship. There is magic in a nature that makes people and all animals have sex for the continuity of life. We human beings think about sex all the time. You can try to escape, try to say no, but in the end it is what everybody wants. There is a giant force in nature for love. I feel the body is sensuous, and sensuality is beautiful. So I don’t want to discuss sexuality like a sociologist, but rather create a sensuous atmosphere in the work. The work is not sex, but that is what it creates in people’s minds and my mind as well. It would be good for the world if we could deal with sensuality in an easier way… My work is first and foremost a contemporary sculpture; it speaks of the finite and the infinite, of the macroscopic and the microscopic, the internal and external, by the masculine and feminine powers, but sex is like a snake, it slithers through everything. (Ernesto Neto in conversation with Bill Arning in Ernesto Neto, Bomb, Issue 70Winter 2000)

  • 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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PAFF (turmeric)


Polyamide fabric and turmeric.

Dimensions variable; as illustrated: 356.9 x 66 x 66 cm.(140 1/2 x 26 x 26 in). This work is accompanied by installation instructions.


£25,000 - 35,000 ‡♠

Sold for £26,900

Contemporary Art Day Sale

29 Feb 2008, 2pm