12 | Untitled (from dry color series), 2007
Colourful cotton threads are pulled tightly outward from one point on the wall, rather like spokes radiating from the hub of a bicycle wheel. The threads are yellow, pink, green, turquoise and black. The bright colours stand out from the predominantly muted colour-tones in Neto’s earlier work, and the thin straight lines are also relatively atypical for Neto – he usually works with voluptuous convex forms. Nevertheless, the structure here has an organic expression, and people have compared its form to a magnified cell-structure. This work was previously exhibited alongside other works from the same series. Seen in that context, it gains an even more pronounced organic character, like something seen through a microscope – perhaps a microorganism.
In this work Neto grapples with a research-project that has dominated his artistic practice since the late 1980s: he tests the flexibility and strength of textiles. The colourful threads are pulled tightly between small plastic rings, like strings on a musical instrument. In several other works in this exhibition we see how thin transparent fabric is maximally stretched, and how the exceptional flexibility and strength help determine a sculpture’s existence.
But the lines in this work also look drawn, so one could describe it as a painting, a sculpture, a weaving or as an elastic wall-relief. We can also see it in relation to Neto’s other wall-works, especially the drawings and reliefs carved from fiberboard. All these works comment on Neto’s spatial installations, underscoring key research themes in his art.