ernesto neto: anthropodino at the park avenue armory, new york ernesto neto: anthropodino at the park avenue armory, new york
may 27, 2009

ernesto neto: anthropodino at the park avenue armory, new york

‘anthropodino’ by ernesto neto park avenue armory, new york may 14 to june 14, 2009

pale shades of diaphanous fabric are used to construct anthropodino photo © james ewing image courtey of park avenue armory

the park avenue armory has announced the next step in its evolution as an arts institution with the launch of an annual program in which an artist is selected to create a work inspired by the armory’s vast wade thompson drill hall. the artist for this year’s inaugural ‘drill hall commissions’ program is ernesto neto, the brazilian artist well-known for creating immersive, multi-sensory installations which invite viewers to engage with and often literally enter the work. for his project at the park avenue armory, neto is presenting ‘anthropodino’ (2009), which is also his largest installation to date.

anthropodino will fill almost entirely, the armory’s expansive wade thompson drill hall. neto has used hundreds of yards of fine, sheer materials to create a giant suspended canopy, in which large, colorful and aromatic ‘stalactites’ will descend within arms reach. the floor of the installation consists of a series of monumental arches which have been covered by translucent fabric, fit together like a large puzzle to create a labyrinth of walkways and rooms, inviting visitors to step inside the sculpture in which various activities, including presentations and participatory experiences will take place.

a close-up look at the transparent structure photo © james ewing image courtey of park avenue armory

incorporating the architecture of the armory itself, neto’s installation will allow the public to explore the piece from different perspectives of the drill hall and its interior balcony, interacting with the work from both the ground and from a bird’s eye view.

the work as it was originally conceived, will consist of a fine, net-like fabric or ‘skin’ suspended from the drill hall’s steel latticework ceiling, spanning an area of approximately 192 feet by 100 feet, with pieces suspended from its trusses up to 69 feet long. hundreds of pounds of spices, including turmeric, clove, ginger, black pepper and cumin, will infuse the environment with scent, and provide structural support for the vertical elements along with a heightened sensorial experience.

colorful, aromatic ‘stalactites’ are suspended as part of the installation photo © james ewing image courtey of park avenue armory

the internal canopy of the installation where visitors can interact and enjoy the installation from a different view photo © james ewing image courtey of park avenue armory

the domed top of one section photo © james ewing image courtey of park avenue armory

photo © james ewing image courtey of park avenue armory

small openings found in the skin of ‘anthropodino’ allow visitors to interact with the installation photo © james ewing image courtey of park avenue armory

the expansive interior photo © james ewing image courtey of park avenue armory

‘anthropodino’ consuming the armory’s wade thompson drill hall photo © james ewing image courtey of park avenue armory

portrait of ernesto neto photo © adriana botero image courtey of park avenue armory

since the mid 1990’s, ernest neto has lived and worked in rio de janeiro, developing widely exhibited and influential bodies of work in contemporary sculpture and installation. neto draws influence not only from the biomorphism and modernist abstraction of calder and brancusi, but equally from the conceptual, social and performative installations of his brazilian predecessors, lygia clarke and helio oiticia. incorporating a combination of both mundane and organic materials – including stockings, spices, sand and shells – neto’s works engage all five senses, inviting the visitors to interact with the artwork itself and with eachother. in 1990 neto participated in the carnegie international nd in 2001, he represented brazil in the venice biennale.

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