Jesús Raphael Soto
(1923 - 2005)
Jesús Rafael Soto was a major pioneer of the Op and Kinetic Art movements. He was greatly influenced by the late works of Piet Mondrian and began to experiment with form and optical illusions. He was born in Venezuela but moved to Paris in 1950, where he came in to contact with artists Victor Vasarely and Jean Tinguely as well as other artists connected to the Salon des Réalitiés Nouvelles and the Galerie Denise René. In 1955 Soto renounced the primacy of painting becoming famous for developing a new way of expressing movement through visual effects in his three-dimensional constructions. Later he made a number of wall-sized interactive sculptures known as Penetrables, made with a great number of hanging rods or threads. In 1973 the Jesús Soto Museum of Modern Art opened in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela.