Ernesto Neto, ‘Sem título’, 1997, Arte 57

About Ernesto Neto

A highly influential contemporary Brazilian artist, Ernesto Neto creates large-scale, sensuous environments that evoke bodily experience. Often working with a stretchy, stocking-like fabric in vibrant colors, which he fills with aromatic, organic, or tactile materials such as spices, coffee beans, or Styrofoam, Neto suspends pendulous forms from the ceilings and walls of galleries, or creates spaces walled with membrane-like gauze, into which viewers are invited to enter. These giant stalactites and structures contain phallic forms and orifices suggestive of sexuality. “My work speaks of the finite and the infinite, of the macroscopic and the microscopic, the internal and external, by the masculine and feminine powers,” he says. “But sex is like a snake, it slithers through everything.” Neto considers Alexander Calder, Constantin Brancusi, Richard Serra, Tunga, and Cildo Meireles to be influences on his practice.

Brazilian, b. 1964, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil