press release

This exhibition at GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo presents over fifty works by the Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto (1923 – 2005), one of the pioneers and great exponents of Kinetic Art. Organised by the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City, this exhibition comes to Italy after being shown in Mexico and at Fundación Proa in Buenos Aires. The show was originally conceived as a selection of 27 representative works of the artist’s aesthetic investigations from the 1950s until the late 1990s, and has now been increased with a group of significant works as a result of GAMeC’s spatial characteristics.

Introducing movement into the pictorial plane was the driving force behind the aesthetic investigation that Jesús Rafael Soto initiated in the early 1950s and continued throughout his career. The pieces featured in this exhibition represent the outcome of a process of experimentation that led him to expand two-dimensional surfaces into three-dimensional space in order to broaden the possibilities of interaction with the viewer, who would thus form part of a new visual situation. The selection of works in this exhibition follows two parallel lines in Soto’s work. The first corresponds to his relationship with music through the abstraction of chromatic units used as compositional elements; the second involves the alteration of the everyday experience of space through confrontation with these works.

A walk through this exhibition – beginning with Penetrable BBL bleu (1999) and the visitor’s literal immersion within the work – allows the viewer to understand the way in which, over the course of five decades, Soto tried to answer the questions he had posed in the late 1940s while he was still an art student in Caracas. His interest in abstraction and purity of form – issues that had been explored decades earlier by Cubism, Constructivism and Suprematism – led Soto to develop a kinetic language structured by the superimposition of compositional elements capable of lending optical movement to the pictorial plane.

The works presented in this exhibition are clear examples of a process in which no definitive solutions are reached, and whose continuity allows the viewer to understand Soto’s work from a perspective that avoids mere chronological linearity. By emphasising the relationship between works that deal with similar investigations – and which were nevertheless produced several decades apart – one can identify the artist’s return to his original questions, in a search that continually allowed him to incorporate new alternatives into a vision in motion.

Accompanying the exhibition is a bilingual catalogue, published by Silvana Editoriale, with texts by Tatiana Cuevas and Paola Santoscoy, and an interview with the artist by Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Jesús Rafael Soto. Visione in movimento is supported by the contribution of Tenaris and Ternium, as main sponsors, and by Fondazione della Comunità Bergamasca and Fondazione ASM.

The exhibition has been organised with the support of Fundación Olga y Rufino Tamayo A.C.


only in german

Jesús Rafael Soto
Kuratoren: Tatiana Cuevas, Paola Santoscoy