The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

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Important Update

October 19, 2014 to April 5, 2015 |

Ernesto Neto: The Body That Gravitates on Me

Ernesto Neto has become internationally known for translucent organic sculptures that often take on architectural proportions. Frequently blurring boundaries between inside and outside, weightlessness and gravitational pull, relaxation and tension, Neto’s work exhibits both playfulness and a formal rigor that is often—literally—stretched to the extreme by his use of flexible synthetic fabrics, particularly those used in stockings and tights: nylon and polyamide.

The Body That Gravitates on Me has been installed in The Aldrich’s atrium, with its pendulous appendages dangling from the space’s 25-foot ceiling. Like many of Neto’s sculptures, the work goes beyond being simple organic abstraction to actually resembling a living organism, with its form including elements that read as a body, appendages, and orifices, described by the artist as “a kind of fantasy of nature, and a hypothesis about a structure of a body.”

Commenting on the piece’s title, Neto stated: “Sometimes I like to put the viewer inside of the work, through the title, to have that feeling that we are pulled towards the object, that we are inside of a field that surrounds it. This personalizes the work, bringing it closer to us. This also helps to disguise its specific anatomy, to bring the form back to the viewer.”

Neto’s art has been informed by both nature and culture, with influences ranging from the ecology of his native Brazil to mathematics, physics, astronomy, and movements such as Minimalism and Arte Povera. In the context of The Aldrich’s fiftieth anniversary, his installation has been juxtaposed with those of Richard Serra (whom Neto has referenced as an influence) and Eva Hesse. Like Neto’s work in the present day, in the 1960s Hesse’s sculpture referenced the body and utilized unusual and fragile materials in the service of reconciling formalism with figurative concerns.

Curated by Richard Klein, Exhibitions Director.

Ernesto Neto was born in 1964 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he currently lives and works. He has exhibited his work worldwide, including recent solo exhibitions at the Guggenheim, Bilbao; Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo; Espace Louis Vuitton, Tokyo; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome

Top image: The Body That Gravitates on Me, 2006 Polyamide fabric, Styrofoam, nylon stockings, sand Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York