Marepe, Beatriz Milhazes, Ernesto Neto et al.

Past/Future/Present: Contemporary Art from the Museum of Modern Art São Paulo (group show)
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix
1 September - 31 December 2017

Coming September 1 to Phoenix Art Museum, Past/Future/Present: Contemporary Brazilian Art from the Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo presents a rare panorama of the most innovative art produced in Brazil from the 1990s to the 2010s. The exhibition will be the first major presentation of artworks from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo (MAM-SP) in the United States. Premiering on September First Friday, Past/Future/Present will feature 70 artworks created by 59 artists in diverse media, including painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, and performance.

The exhibition is organized around five disparate but interconnected themes: The Body/The Social Body; Shifting Identities; The Reinvention of the Monochrome; Landscape, Reimagined; and Impossible Objects. These thematic nuclei have porous boundaries that enable visitors to chart their own paths. The works range from small objects to monumental installations, each unique in scope and subject matter.

Although these artworks may differ esthetically, there is much that connects them conceptually. Common threads are recurrent references to Brazilian history, shared experiences, indigenous mythologies, and social norms (and transgressions). The featured artists often invoke national art histories, either in tribute or subversion, but also engage with international artistic trends. The title Past/Future/Present alludes to the creative dialogues they maintain with past Brazilian artistic traditions while also looking toward the future with a wider, global perspective.

This exhibition is a singular opportunity for American audiences to experience an in-depth look at the practice of Brazilian artists now recognized as the pioneers of their generation. The diversity of their proposals illustrates that contemporary Brazilian art cannot be defined by a single “ism” or contained within any one category. These artists enter into dialogues with the traditions of the past at the same time that they participate in current global artistic discussions. Their simultaneous engagement with the past and the future speaks to a singular creative present, and has made Brazil a serious contender on the international stage of contemporary art.

Because the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art houses one of the most important collections of Brazilian art in the world, this exhibition represents only one constellation of artworks among many others that could be imagined. It is not intended as a definitive survey of contemporary artistic production in Brazil, but rather to contribute to the ongoing conversation about what Brazilian art is and can be.

Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix


Ernesto Neto

TISSAGE TRESSAGE - quand la sculpture défile (group show)
Villa Datris, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
19 May - 1 November 2018

Ernesto Neto, Seedgaia, 2017. Photo: Atelienave / Fondation Beyeler / Mark Niedermann
Ernesto Neto, Seedgaia, 2017. Photo: Atelienave / Fondation Beyeler / Mark Niedermann

Ernesto Neto

GaiaMotherTree (monumental installation)
Fondation Beyeler in the Zurich Main station, Zurich
30 June - 29 July 2018

Ernesto Neto, GaiaMotherTree, Zurich Main Station, Zurich, 2018. Photo: Mark Niedermann. Courtesy of the artist and Fondation Beyeler, Riehen
Ernesto Neto, GaiaMotherTree, Zurich Main Station, Zurich, 2018. Photo: Mark Niedermann. Courtesy of the artist and Fondation Beyeler, Riehen

The monumental installation GaiaMotherTree by the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto (b. 1964) is a spectacular public art project presented by the Fondation Beyeler in Zurich Main station. The walk-in sculpture, made of brightly colored hand-knotted cotton strips, has an organic, treelike appearance. It functions as a meeting place and a venue for interaction and meditation, and is accompanied by a varied programme of public events.

In June and July 2018, the Fondation Beyeler will be showing an installation by the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto (b. 1964 in Rio de Janeiro) in Zurich Main station. The monumental work GaiaMotherTree, a sculpture made of brightly colored hand-knotted cotton strips, resembles a tall tree, extending right up to the ceiling of the station concourse, which is twenty meters high. It is a walk-in structure that functions as a meeting place and a venue for interaction and meditation. A varied program of events for adults and children, with music, workshops, guided tours and talks, will take place inside the installation.

Ernesto Neto is one of Latin America's most important contemporary artists. His work, comprising sculptures, installations and multimedia projects, has won worldwide recognition, with several presentations at the Venice Biennale and exhibitions in the world's leading museums. It has been collected by, among others, the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Tate Modern, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Hara Museum, Tokyo.

Neto's ideas have been influenced by the Brazilian Neo-Concrete movement of the 1960s and also by Minimal and Conceptual Art, and Arte Povera. Spirituality, humanism, and ecology are among his principal concerns. His work since the 1990s has been characterized by the use of unusual materials and techniques. His sculptures and installations often feature biomorphic forms and organic materials, with transparency and sensuality playing a major role. Viewers can touch the works and walk through them or set them in motion; in many cases, they also appeal to the sense of smell. The visitor is invited to concentrate on his or her own perception and interact with the work and its environment.

In recent years, Neto has turned his attention to a new series of works, which he is realizing in cooperation with the Huni Kuin, an indigenous community living in the Amazon region near the Brazilian border with Peru. The culture and customs of the Huni Kuin, their knowledge and craft skills, their aesthetic sense, their values, their world view, and their spiritual connection with nature, have transformed Neto's conception of art and become integral elements of his artistic practice.

GaiaMotherTree was made entirely by hand. Strips of cotton were colored with natural dyes, and then knotted together with a finger-crocheting technique to form a giant transparent structure. The upper part of the work, shaped like the crown of a tree, will cover the ceiling of the station concourse. At the base of the tree there is a large space where visitors can linger and rest on seats arranged in a circle. Drop-shaped elements hanging from the branches are filled with aromatic spices and dried leaves.

Fondation Beyeler, Riehen


MAC USP in the 21st century: The Era of Artists (group show)
MAC USP, São Paulo
20 May 2017 - ongoing

The current exhibition incorporates this attitude of working together, proposing an almost invisible curatorship while the focus remains on the artists' work. No readings or conceptual movement paths were previously defined. Works are open to free exploration and to the individual experience of visitors, who are free to find their own connections, identity and alterity relations among the array of possible conversations that can be held.

We are talking of a curatorship role that is purposely willing to let all underlying meanings intrinsic to the work of art emerge and play with one another in dynamic and incessant processes. Connections are threads that will never stop moving.

MAC USP, São Paulo

Beatriz Milhazes

Grace Farms Art Project (group show)
The Grace Farms Foundation, New Canaan, beginning 8 October 2016

Celebrate the one year anniversary of Grace Farms with special programming October 8-15, titled “Possibilities Are Endless,” beginning with the public unveiling of Moon Love Dreaming, a permanent piece of site-specific art from renowned Brazilian artist, Beatriz Milhazes. A colorful 108 foot-long wall painting extending the length of the West Barn hallway, Milhazes' piece joins other public art installations at Grace Farms by Thomas Demand, Teresita Fernández, Olafur Eliasson, and Susan Philipsz, all of which are freely available for viewing during public hours.

The Grace Farms Foundation, New Canaan