Jesús Rafael Soto

Jesús Rafael Soto in Penetrable (1973), Parque García Sanabria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, September 1995

Photograph: © Courtesy of Carlos A. Schwartz

Jesús Rafael Soto was a Venezuelan artist, one of the main representatives of kinetic and optical art. Born in Ciudad Bolívar, he studied at the School of Fine Arts in Caracas before moving to Paris, the city where he would reside until his death. In Paris he partnered with a group of abstract artists called Salon des réalités nouvelles. Inspired by the work of Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich, Soto created a series of repetitive paintings, which were composed of simple geometric shapes. In the decade of 1950 it was tried to capture in its series Metamorfosis (1954) an equivalent of the musical seriality. In 1956, the first kinetic structures were created, his work is characterized by integrating in the work the perception of the viewer in the displacement before the object. From the 1960s he designed penetrable and architectural integration works, such as the decoration of the interior of the UNESCO building in Paris (1970), the interior of the Georges Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture in Paris (1976) and the spaces free Soto's work has been exhibited in many public places, including the lounge of the UNESCO building in Paris (1969) and the Forum of the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris (1987). His work inow resides in several museum collections, including the Tate Modern in London, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museum of Modern Art Jesus Soto in Bolivar, Venezuela.