Jesús Rafael Soto, Sans titre (La ficelle-matière transformée) (Untitled [The String-Transformed Material]), 1961 paint on wire and wood, 35 3/4 x 35 3/4 x 7".

New York

“Soto: Paris And Beyond, 1950–1970”

Grey Art Gallery
100 Washington Square East New York University
January 10–March 31, 2012

Curated by Estrellita B. Brodsky

If what set postwar France’s most ambitious artists apart was their grappling with painting’s potential as a generative site for aesthetic forms, perceptual models, and social experiences, then it is high time to reassess the “kinetic” contributions of the Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto. At the Grey Art Gallery, approximately fifty works made in the twenty years after he moved to Paris in 1950, including a dozen of his “Vibrations,” will evidence Soto’s experiments with painting’s hybrid condition as a material surface provoking immaterial effects, as a static object inducing arbitrary incidents, and as a flat support conjuring three-dimensional phenomenological possibilities. By exacerbating these paradoxes, Soto helped redefine the spectator as an active participant, perhaps anticipating the contestation of power that marked the events of May ’68. Brodsky’s and Sarah K. Rich’s catalogue essays will expand on Soto’s dialogue with contemporaries such as Yves Klein and Jean Tinguely.