he Experience of Art,” the second exhibition in the Brazilian multivenue series “Art for Children (Arte para Crianças),” wisely avoided the simplistic, the brightly colored, and the merely ludic. Instead, it paid tribute to children’s intelligence by presenting a selection of works by seven of Brazil’s finest contemporary artists.
A stack of enticing striped boxes by Eduardo Coimbra titled Sculpture III (2014) was set close to the entrance, offering the chance to clamber in and around the cubes. Children were also invited to step into Ernesto Neto’s hene yube rio jiboia gente é um sopro que atravessa a gente (2014), an immense snake made of tulle, and walk through its body.
Paula Trope’s walk-in camera obscura, Câmara Escura (2014), had an upside-down image of the surrounding garden projected on its interior walls, while in Rio Oir (2012) by Cildo Meireles, visitors could lie back on cushions and listen to a recording of river water slapping against the sides of an invisible, but suddenly very present, boat.
The work that best fulfilled the promise of the show’s title was Falsa Maçã (2008) by Waltercio Caldas, which presented pairs of red apples separated by sheets of glass. Were they real, or just realistic? Caldas’s installation, rather than simply explaining or entertaining, created the kind of reflective experience that art, at its best, provides.