Lot 48
  • 48

Jesús Rafael Soto

600,000 - 800,000 USD
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  • Vibración blanca
  • signed on the reverse; also signed on a label affixed to the reverse
  • painted wood with wire elements
  • 39 3/8 by 39 3/8 in. 100 by 100 cm
  • Executed in 1959.


Oscar Ascanio, Caracas (acquired directly from the artist) 
Galería Díaz Mancini, Caracas 
Acquired from the above in 1994 

Catalogue Note

Bursting with shimmering vibrancy, Jesús Rafael Soto’s lyrical Vibración blanca from 1959 embodies the theoretical and physical foundations of his oeuvre. An early masterwork executed in Paris during the artist’s “Baroque years”—an exhilarating but brief period extending from 1957 to 1962— Vibración blanca radiates with Informalist textures and gestural abstraction. As one of the most accomplished and largest paintings held in private hands, the work displays an unusually bright palette of isolated brushstrokes of primary red, yellow and blue pigment: colors meant to echo Mondrian’s essential purity. Having surpassed the confines of Neo-Plasticism, which Soto conceded as the only valid point of inception for significant and historical painting, he reaches a personal and original language, one influenced by music’s relational structure, its codification of sound and temporality.  In the late 1950s, Soto established a fractured relationship with space permanently activating energy through matter. Disappearing against a dizzying background of finally executed linearity, Vibración blanca dissolves itself into an optical effect. Deeply entrenched in the Kinetic mandate, it is a consummate example of visual dynamism and a triumph of dematerialization.

Heralded as a defining figure of the Latin American avant-garde, Soto’s lifelong experimental practice is appropriately described by critic Pierre Restany as an “adventure of the real.” (Pierre Restany, Les Nouveaux Realistes, Paris:  Planete, 1968, 204). While not officially aligned with any specific group, Soto was most notably involved with two distinct and formidable art movements: the Nouveaux Realistes in Paris led by his friend Yves Klein and the Düsseldorf-based Group Zero founded by Heinz Mack and Otto Piene.  Addressing the possibility of a new and transcendental beginning directed by a revolutionary and unanimous exploration of recyclable materials whose elemental [and real] function was equally reimagined; both groups realigned the role of creativity and destruction as parallel equations.

Other outstanding examples from the Vibración series are found in The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Tate London, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Colección Mercantil, Colección Fundación Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela.