Berlin – Ernesto Neto: “notes, stones and dots” at Galerie Max Hetzler, through April 13th 2013

April 12th, 2013

Ernesto Neto, for ever (2013), Courtesy Max Hetzler
Ernesto Neto, for ever (2013), Courtesy Max Hetzler

A series of new drawings and sculptures by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto (1964) are currently on view at Galerie Max Hetzler in a solo exhibition entitled notes, stones and dots.  The exhibition sees Neto exploring the forms and movements generated from the act of dancing: “If we could feel our body in a state of dance,” he says, “we might gain a better balance.”

Ernesto Neto, animal nature (2013), Courtesy Max Hetzler
Ernesto Neto, animal nature (2013), Courtesy Max Hetzler

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1964, Ernesto Neto still lives and works in Brazil, and has exhibited all over the world, from the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, the MoMA in New York, the Panthéon in Paris and the Kölnischer Kunstvere in Cologne, as well as the Venice Biennale. His works are included in museum collections internationally, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London, and MOCA in Los Angeles.

Ernesto Neto, in the corner of life (2013), Courtesy Max Hetzler
Ernesto Neto, in the corner of life (2013), Courtesy Max Hetzler

For Neto, “dance is a sculpture in motion; I think we should be living in a state of dance, because it could bring some kind of fluid ability to our movements in time.”  Seeking to apply the natural grace of dance movements to his work, the artist shapes steel into the delicate, arching natural forms of trees, branches, or and flowers. Sometimes the parts are screwed visibly together, while others hang mysteriously like limbs in space, defying gravity to take on a life of their own. Each piece is intended to slowly rust, eventually taking on a reddish brown color that further shapes the act of movement and transition Neto has tried to distill in his sculptures.  Allowing the pieces to shift and alter with age, Neto effectively reintroduces duration to the sculpture, giving it a life of its own.

Ernesto Neto, a tree on the way (2013), Courtesy Max Hetzler
Ernesto Neto, a tree on the way (2013), Courtesy Max Hetzler

Alongside these sculptures, Neto is also exhibiting a series of large-scale color photographs.  The artist has captured close-ups of various body parts, from different sculptures at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas. The sculptures photographed include Gauguin’s Tahitian Girl, Rodin’s The Age of Bronze made in plaster, and Brancusi’s The Kiss.  Small plants are attached to the framed photographs, meant to represent the growth and vitality that the artists sees in these still sculptures.  Taking pictures of sculptures allows us to get very close to them, revealing the details left by the process of creation or time, like scratches or dents. “These images had began to dance with one another,” Neto says, “showing their sex and libido, but at the same time remaining innocent and ambiguous.”  Complementing the artist’s sculptures on view, the viewer is offered a view of dance not only as physical movement, but as a kinetic exchange, a constant re-engagement and re-interpretation of the physical surroundings that leaves both dancer and stage fundamentally altered.

Ernesto Neto, who am i (2013), Courtesy Max Hetzler
Ernesto Neto, who am i (2013), Courtesy Max Hetzler

Embracing the interplay of environment and body through materials and practices that depict the constant flux of “timeless works” Neto introduces a new vision of flexibility and movement to the sculpture, exploring each work’s endless dance with time.  Notes, stones and dots will remain open at Galerie Max Hetzler in Berlin through April 13, 2013.

Ernesto Neto, btw us (2013), Courtesy Max Hetzler
Ernesto Neto, btw us (2013), Courtesy Max Hetzler


Ernesto Neto, notes, stones and dots (Installation View), Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler

—E. Baker

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Galerie Max Hetzler]