Rebirth from the Grave: Ernesto Neto Ybarra's "The Death of Neto" at Icehouse

Ernesto Neto Ybarra, <i>In Between Worlds</i> 

Ernesto Neto Ybarra, In Between Worlds 

A new body of work by Ernesto Neto Ybarra goes on view tonight at Icehouse. He'll be retiring the name "Neto," the moniker under which he's been painting for the past 15 years. At the party, Ybarra will reveal the next stage of his artwork. The event is hosted by Electric Machete, an artist collective that Ybarra is a part of, and music will be provided by Javier Trejo y Los Cabrones del Norte.  

Originally hailing from the West Side of St. Paul, Ybarra has spent a number of years on the West Coast. This will be his first local exhibition since returning to the Twin Cities. 

With 25 pieces, the exhibition follows  Ybarra's work as he explores new aesthetic directions. This includes paintings that work with grayscale. Ybarra has previously been known for his colorful pieces, his use of traditional Mexican iconography and indigenous symbols, and his realistic figures. His new efforts incorporate a greater use of abstraction, including hints of Cubist influences. 

The name "Neto" comes from a nickname Ybarra's grandmother gave him. Now, as a father who has experienced changes in his life, Ybarra's shift in aesthetics reflects the changes happening to him personally.

"One of the things in our Chicano culture is that death is continuous,"  says Jessica Lopez Lyman, who curated the show, along with Armando Gutiérrez G. The name of the exhibit, as well as themes explored in the work, use death as a metaphor for life changes. "In addition, his most deepest personal work are around issues of death in his family," she says. 

Lopez Lyman, who is a friend of Ybarra's family, is pursuing a PhD at UC Santa Barbara, and is currently doing research in the Twin Cities. She wanted to work with Armando Gutiérrez G., an artist from the West Side, who is mentoring her in curation. 


"The Death of Neto"

Through February 9, 2015


The opening reception takes place at 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 9