May 12 – September 9, 2012
Born in Brazil in 1964, artist Ernesto Neto has gained acclaim for his large experiential environments that dramatically alter our surroundings, engage the senses, and invite interaction. Organic, womblike, and elemental, Neto’s installations draw on the lessons of minimalist sculpture, Brazilian New Objectivity of the 1960s and 70s, and the anthropomorphic architecture of Antoni Gaudí to remove the visitor from the assault and grind of the everyday world and provide an opportunity to slow down and reconnect for a few moments with essential sensory experiences.
The work made for the exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Kink, continues Neto’s recent explorations of elevated environments and crochet, but for the first time the artist has added the complex new element of a freestanding, interwoven framework of metal structural supports. Passageways of crocheted rope transport visitors up into the space above the gallery floor, changing their perspective and relation to gravity, and nestling them in an aerie of polypropylene balls and crocheted rope. Initially taught to crochet by his grandmother and great aunt in 1994, Neto did not put the skill to use in his art until many years later. The artist now relies on a team of assistants to produce the enormous crocheted installations of recent years.
Like many of the artist’s environments, the experience of Kink
is meant to be both individual and communal. In order to preserve the shared intimacy of the encounter, only five people are allowed into the structure at a time. In addition to creating this new work, Neto has made a selection of objects from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, on view in the adjacent gallery. Including sculptures by Paul Gauguin, Constantin Brancusi, Naum Gabo, David Smith, and Cy Twombly, the installation highlights Neto’s interests and underlines the often subtle connections and kinships between these historical objects and his own work.
Read the Q&A conducted by Peter Simek. Discover what Ernesto has to say about Kink.
Ernesto Neto, Kink (interior view), 2012. Aluminum, crocheted polyester and polypropylene rope , polypropylene balls, air, wood, felt, and rubber, 14’ 3” x 66’ 8” x 13’ 8”. Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York. In the exhibition Ernesto Neto Cuddle on the Tightrope, May 12 – September 9, 2012, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX. Photo: Julius Pickenpack