Jesus Raphael Soto: Artist Portrait

Jesús Rafael Soto

Born 1923. Died 2005.
Interested in selling a work by Jesús Rafael Soto?
Request an Estimate

Works by Jesús Rafael Soto at Sotheby's

Past Lots

Jesús Rafael Soto Biography

Regarded as one of the founding fathers of Kinetic art, Venezuelan-born artist Jesús Rafael Soto’s investigations of vibrational movement and mesmerizing optical effects utilize a disciplined formal lexicon to transcendent effect. Soto once observed, “Artistic creation is a force which should preferably be directed towards the exploration of space, of the universe, of the infinite realities which surround us, but of which we are hardly conscious.” In his ascetic geometric idiom, Soto’s paintings, sculptures and large-scale installations invite encounters with the sublime.

Soto was born in 1923 in Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela, and studied at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas in Caracas. In 1950, Soto settled in Paris after receiving a government grant to travel to France. There, he associated with artists such as Victor Vasarely, Yaacov Agam, Jean Tinguely and others connected with the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles. His work explored serial geometric forms through a series of Repetition Paintings, and by the mid-50s, Soto was creating his first dynamic pieces using panels of Plexiglass. In 1955, he participated in the seminal Le Mouvement exhibition at Galerie Denise René, which helped to launch Kinetic Art. In 1968, Soto created the first of his life-sized Pénétrables installations, swaying fields of nylon thread that vibrate as the spectator approaches. The following year, UNESCO commissioned two murals by Soto for their buildings in Paris. Soto exhibited widely throughout his career, with major shows at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (1974) and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (1979). He died in Paris in 2005 at the age of 81; he is buried in the historic Cimetière de Montparnasse.

Today, Soto’s work is housed in permanent collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and the Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, which was opened in his honor in his hometown of Ciudad Bolívar in 1973.

Read Less
Read More

Jesús Rafael Soto Videos and Stories

Museums with Works by Jesús Rafael Soto

We use our own and third party cookies to enable you to navigate around our Site, use its features and engage on social media, and to allow us to perform analytics, remember your preferences, provide services that you have requested and produce content and advertisements tailored to your interests, both on our Site as well as others. For more information, or to learn how to change your cookie or marketing preferences, please see our updated Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy.

Close
Artist Image: Time Life Pictures
Please note that prior performance of the indexes and realized returns contained herein does not guarantee future results. In addition, there is no guarantee that random collections of individual works of art or stocks will yield index returns. We are not financial advisors and we are not in the business of recommending art as an investment. We also have no comparative advantage in forecasting the future direction of the art market. Investment decisions should be based on the risk return tolerance and time horizon of the investor with, if desired, the support of a licensed financial advisor. This information is provided "as is" and with no representations or warranties either express or implied of accuracy, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or of any other nature are made with respect to this information or to any expressed views presented in this information.