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An image of Sonambulinos by Ernesto Neto

Ernesto Neto

(Brazil 1964 – )

Other titles:
Brother and sister
Media category
Materials used
Lycra tulle, polystyrene

110.0 x 130.0 x 70.0 cm overall (approx.)

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Geoff and Vicki Ainsworth 2001
Accession number
© Ernesto Neto
Not on display
Further information

Neto is amongst a group of artists who emerged in the 1990s in Brazil. Influenced by Brazilian Neo-concretism his work is strongly attached to the body and the senses and although mainly abstract in form, the sculptures have organic qualities.

These two large, voluptuous 'Sonambulinos', which is Portuguese for ‘little sleepwalkers’ are part of the artist’s series of ‘ovaloids’ which are a group of soft sculptures that invite the viewer to hug and interact with them. This is a pair of sacks tied at the top by what could only be an umbilical cord except for the belly-button holes in their anatomy. The cord ties them together as mother and child or as brothers. Although abstract in their essence, their almost bodily shapes and the lycra they are made from are very appealing to the senses and make them seem like they would move when no body’s watching. (EF)

Bibliography (2)

Anthony Bond, Contemporary: Art Gallery of New South Wales Contemporary Collection, 'Objects and associations', pg.332-381, Sydney, 2006, back cover (colour illus.), 358 (colour illus.). reproduction on back cover is a detail

Lucina Ward, Soft sculpture, 'SOFT sculpture, modernity, minimalism and the body', pg.5-25, Canberra, 2009, 22, 23 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (2)

Orifice, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, South Bank, 08 Oct 2003–30 Nov 2003

Soft Sculpture, National Gallery of Australia, Parkes, 24 Apr 2009–19 Jul 2009