Ernesto Neto - Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Charity Auction London Monday, March 15, 2021 | Phillips
  • "We are nature. We are all nature. This is crucial because we always separate nature from ourselves, putting nature outside... but nature is not in the third person, nature is in the first person, it’s inside as." 1Since the mid-1990s, Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto has produced an influential body of work that explores constructions of social space and the natural world by inviting physical interaction and sensory experience. He is most known for monumental installations that incorporate organic shapes and materials – spices, sand and shells among them— to engage all five senses, producing a new type of sensory perception that renegotiates boundaries between artwork and viewer, the organic and manmade, the natural, spiritual and social worlds. Neto works around the space of the body, where the viewer becomes part of the work and vice versa and they become physically immersed in the installation.


    In this work body and skin, Neto continues his investigation between the human world and natural world. This monumental photograph shows a moss-covered tree and cliff face on Cagarra, an island off the coast of Rio De Janeiro. Combined to form a single image, the two scenes invite a close examination of texture and the materiality of the landscapes. The title body and skin evinces Neto’s belief that there’s no separation between the body and nature; moss becomes a surrogate for skin, as the tree and cliff are rendered as bodies.


    This work was included in Ernesto Neto. notes, stones and dots, an exhibition of the artist’s work at Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin in 2013. This show focused, with Neto’s typical attention to detail and sensitivity to material, on the relationship between the body and nature, juxtaposing photographs, sculptures and plants.

  • Neto has exhibited extensively internationally. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Centro Cultural La Moneda, Santiago (2020), Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) (2019), Pinacoteca de São Paulo (2019) Fondation Beyeler in the Zurich Main Station (2018), MCA Chicago (2017), Aspen Art Museum (2014), Guggenheim Bilboa (2014), Espace Louis Vuitton, Tokyo (2012) Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2012); Hayward Gallery (2010) London and Museum of Modern Art  New York (2010). Neto's work is in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Tate Modern, London; MOCA, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; SFMoMA and the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C, among others. 

    1 Ernesto Neto in conversation with Petra Joos, The body that carries me (Guggenheim Bilbao: 2014), p. 20

    • Description

      © Ernesto Neto, Photo: def image

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    • Provenance

      Donation courtesy of the artist and Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin l Paris l London

    • Exhibited

      Berlin, Galerie Max Hetzler, Ernesto Neto: notes, stones and dots, 23 February - 13 April 2013

    • Literature

      Galerie Max Hetzler, ed., REMEMBER EVERYTHING : 40 Years Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, 2014, pp. 153, 155 (illustrated)

    • 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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body and skin

146 x 110 cm (57 1/2 x 43 1/4 in.)
Executed in 2013, this work is number 1 from an edition of 3 plus 2 artist's proofs.

Full Cataloguing

£12,000 - 15,000 


Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs

Head of Sale, London

+44 20 7901 7993

Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Charity Auction

Online Auction 15 - 23 March 2021