The Armory’s first commissioned art installation was 2009’s anthropodino, a large-scale, interactive sculpture by Brazilian artist, Ernesto Neto. Using hundreds of yards of translucent material, Neto suspended a gigantic canopy from the drill hall’s latticework truss—120 feet wide and 180 feet long. Magnificent, aromatic “fabric stalactites” descended 60 feet to embrace a vast labyrinth of passageways and rooms.

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Ernesto Neto 

Ernesto Neto is a contemporary visual artist born in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. His installations are often described as “beyond abstract minimalism.” He creates incredible large and soft biomorphic sculptures which are made of white, stretchy materials. They often fill the entire exhibition space. While creating a large work, Ernesto thinks about how to put humanity in it. He was strongly influenced by “Anthropophagia” – an artistic movement that began in Brazil in the 1920’s – to create “Anthropodino” installation. “The whole anthropodino idea considers the human being in a scientific way, not only as an individual or as a part of society.  In society, the human being must be an organ or cell. So this is a cell. The drawing of this piece depicts a cellular structure,” says the artist. The viewers are active participants in Ernesto’s creations – they can touch, poke, and even walk through most of his works. 

I am so in love with the large scale and soft colours of these installations. They depict innocence and scientific cell like shapes from human anatomy. How could I create something similar, using anatomy as an initial focus? Is there specific materials which convey similar emotions of comfort and cellular structure of anatomy? 

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A Google search on Sensory experiences brought me to the artist Ernesto Neto and his installation piece Anthropodino from 2009. I am abolutely amazed by the idea, playfulness and not least the architectural design of the ‘tents’ he made. It is fantastically futuristic and minimal, yet friendly in a very childlike way. It encourages you to relax and explore the work, be an active part of it. It reminds me of a mix between a kids show i probably never saw, Moomin and the candy area around the chocolate river in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I really wish i could have experienced this work in real life and not through a screen. I’m very surprised that it gave such a big impression on me without actually experiencing it in New York.


#TBT to 2009 and our first commissioned art installation, Ernesto Neto’s anthropodino, a large-scale, interactive sculpture. The Brazilian artist used hundreds of yards of translucent material, to suspend a gigantic canopy from the Wade Thompson Drill Hall’s latticework truss. These magnificent, aromatic “stalactites” were filled with spices and descended 60 feet to embrace a vast labyrinth of passageways and rooms. The wooden skeleton was made of innumerable bone-shaped plywood parts neatly cut by computer-driven machines and was assembled like a huge, three-dimensional puzzle without screws or glue. Hundreds of pounds of spices, including turmeric, clove, ginger, black pepper and cumin, infused the environment with scent and provided a heightened sensorial experience. This immersive, multi-sensory installation invited viewers to enter the work and explore the piece from many different perspectives. (Photos: James wing)