May 29, 2008 > February 28, 2009
curated by Dobrila Denegri

Image: Ernesto Neto/MACRO, Mentre niente accade / While nothing happens, 2008, Lycra, legno, spezie, sabbia, Foto: Giorgio Benni, Copyright: Ernesto Neto

MACRO Hall presents the new site-specific work by the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto, which comes in the wake of those by Erwin Wurm, Pedro Cabrita Reis and Atelier Van Lieshout.

Making his solo debut in an Italian museum, Ernesto Neto (Rio de Janeiro, 1964) is one of the most significant names on the contemporary art scene. Through his work, the artist brings new life to the very concept of sculpture and architecture, creating spaces, environments and itineraries that involve the public in an all-ecompassing perceptive experience. The prime theme of Neto’s sculpture is its effects upon the senses, which is expressed in the sinuous shapes of Lycra, and in the aromas and colours of spices.

The project that Neto has created especially for MACRO Hall is a large installation that takes up the entire area of the Museum’s glazed gallery, forming a sort of floating architecture with organic and floral shapes that invite the visitor to go through and interact with them. The sculpture, which is attached to the gallery’s glass roof trusses, is suspended about one metre from the ground.
The Lycra contains ground spices: pepper, cumin, cloves, ginger and curcuma. The almost anaesthetising aroma of the spices totally envelop our sense of smell, conjuring up familiar or distant flavours and memories, just as the sculptural forms invite us to touch and feel the work with our hands, and listen in silence.

The artist’s aim is to break down the distances between the visitor and the work of art, creating a sort of mystical experience through the discovery of the almost living breathing of these huge creatures with their transparent and harmonious shapes.
Neto’s works form shapes that also break down the barriers between art and life. As he himself states, he creates “an art that unites, helping us interact with others, showing us the limits, not as barriers but as a place of sensations and of exchange and continuity.”

Ernesto Neto was born in 1964 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he currently lives and works.
His works have been displayed in some of the most important international contemporary art museums and at such great exhibition events as the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1988, Kwangju Biennale in 1995, the Biennale of Sydney in 1998, Liverpool Biennial in 2000 and 2002, and the Venice Biennale in 2001 in 2003.
The most important projects created by the artist in recent years include solo exhibitions at MIMOCA Marugame Museum of Contemporary Art, in Japan; MOCA in Miami; the Konsthall in Malmö; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa; MOCA in Los Angeles; the Kunsthalle in Basle; and the ICA in London. In 2006 he took part in the great installation that was made inside the Panthéon for the 35th Festival d’Automne in Paris. He has also shown his works in many important galleries around the world (Max Hetzler in Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar in New York; Fortes Vilaça in Sao Paulo; and Yvon Lambert in Paris) and he has taken part in numerous group exhibitions in the most important international museums, including the Guggenheim in New York and Bilbao, P.S.1 and MoMa in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Kiasma in Helsinki, MORI Art Museum in Tokyo, MAK in Vienna, the XXI Century Museum in Kanazawa, and the ICA and the Barbican Centre in London.