Made especially for Inhotim, Inmensa (1982–2002) is a reworking of a similarly titled sculpture created in 1982 by Cildo Meireles. In the present sculpture, the artist used steel rather than the wood of the original work, while considerably enlarging its dimensions to place it into a new relation of scale with the landscape, its surroundings and the human body, thus altering the viewer’s aesthetic experience. Although this artwork involves minimalist features such as serialism, progression, and formal reduction to geometric elements, this language is used here to subvert minimalism’s precepts; the author has not limited the work to its form and material, but rather evokes a wide range of meanings and external references. This interplay of meanings begins with the very title, which refers to the Portuguese imensa [immense] but contains an extra letter “n” that allows it to be also read as the Latin phrase in mensa: “in/on the table.” By appropriating household objects – a set of table and chairs – and altering their usual configuration, proportions and context, the artist creates a sculpture that is open to various interpretations. In this architectural structure it is the smaller elements which, illogically, support the larger ones, thus giving rise to questions concerning hierarchy and balance – questions which can be read at the level of society, politics and the economy.


  • Title: Inmensa
  • Creator Lifespan: 1948
  • Creator Nationality: Brazilian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Birth Place: Rio de Janeiro , Rio de Janeiro
  • Date Created: 1982/2002
  • Physical Dimensions: w810 x h400 x d445 cm
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Inhotim Collection, Brazil, Eduardo Eckenfels
  • Medium: Cor-ten steel
  • Multimedia artist: Cildo Meireles

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