MFAH Artist's Talk: Ernesto Neto
One of the most prominent artists within today's global art scene, Ernesto Neto (born 1964) creates fantastical and immersive environments that transform one's sense of place. His installations often contain aromatics, such as spices and coffee beans, and tactile materials (yarn, nylon, stones, Styrofoam) to trigger multi-sensory experiences.
In combining the visual and the tactile, this Brazilian artist carries forward the avant-garde work of 1960s pioneers such as Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Pape — leaders of the Neo-Concrete movement in Rio de Janeiro — who made sculptural work from everyday materials to expose the psychic and poetic possibilities.
Active since the mid-1990s, Neto has gained worldwide acclaim. Houstonians may remember Neto's room-size installation at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in 1999. He went on to represent his country at the Venice Biennale and has been the subject of major solo exhibitions at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Roma in Italy, and Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain. In 2014, the Aspen Art Museum inaugurated its new building with Gratitude, a large-scale exhibition of Neto's work.