Jesús Rafael Soto
- JESÚS RAFAEL SOTO
- Ligne et Point sur le Cercle
- signed, titled and dated 65 on the reverse
- painted wood construction with metal
- 14 1/2 by 14 5/8 by 4 1/2 in. 36.8 by 37.1 by 11.4 cm.
Private Collection, New York (acquired from the above circa 1965)
Thence by descent to the present owner
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Regarded as one of the founding fathers of Kinetic art, Venezuelan-born Jesús Rafael Soto left for Paris in 1950 at the age of 27 to further his artistic career. Permanently entrenching himself in the artistic capital, Soto found himself collaborating with ZERO artists Yves Klein, Pol Bury, Jean Tinguely, amongst others—sharing their ambition of redefining the trajectory of art in the post-World War II period. By the mid-1950s, he began exhibiting his investigations of vibrational movement with Galerie Denise René. Inspired by the works of Kazimir Malevich (White on White, 1918) and Piet Mondrian (Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-43), Soto quickly identified unresolved problems in these two respective paintings. This question would become the central focus and inspiration of his entire artistic production: what is an object’s position in time and space. Soto’s ultimate solution was and still is the brilliant and essential coup of Kinetic art. By using squares—which he considers “the most genuine human form”, superimposed upon a careful landscape of sequential lines, Soto achieves a revolutionary optical illusion of a vibrational and moving state.
Although seemingly simplistic, Ligne et point sur le cercle (1965), represents one of Soto’s most ambitious and intimate uses of the square. Advancing beyond the bare geometry and the single-dimensions of his predecessors, Soto uses this work as an invitation to reintroduce us, the viewers, to the realities of space and movement in a new, multi-dimensional format. His masterful, optical trick and solution becomes clear in Ligne et point sur le cercle: multiple, new planes of vision are invented by the eye of the viewer. At a close range, the small green square, painted at the end of a metallic bar, appears to be boldly suspended on its own against the endlessly vibrating movement of the black and white lines in the background. As we stand back, we actually see this small square superimposed against a cascade of larger squares and a singular circle; endless possibilities and movement result.