Ernesto Neto

Hayward Gallery

BE GENTLE WITH THE EDGES OF THE WORLD read the sign that greeted visitors as they entered Ernesto Neto’s recent exhibition, whose subtitle was precisely “The Edges of the World.” Several more such signs reminding viewers to be gentle with this or that would be encountered as one wandered between the walls and under the ceilings constructed using Neto’s signature stretchy translucent nylon that made up much of this show, which felt more like a multipart installation than a grouping of separate works. Of course, the injunction was to some extent a reflection of the fact that although Neto has long since abandoned the look-but-don’t-touch aesthetic of the traditional art museum, his work can’t be treated roughly; it reflects sensitivity and demands the same. Still, I couldn’t help remembering when I got a kitten for my then three-year-old daughter. Her affection for the new pet could sometimes

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