Jesús Rafael Soto (Venezuelan, 1923-2005) was one of the most important artist in the Op Art and in the Kinetic movements of the 20th Century. Beginning his artistic career at a very young age painting posters for movie theatres, he then attended the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Artes Aplicades in Caracas where he met fellow students Alejandro Otero and Carlos Cruz-Diez.
Living in Paris from 1950 marked the beginning of his work on optically moving forms and the repetition of identical geometrical units such as “Vibration Structures” and “Penetrables”, environmental installations with a great number of hanging rods or threads, as well as “Kinetic Walls”, installed today on public buildings all over the world.
Soto’s works were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and are included in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Musei Vaticani, Vatican, Italy. Recent solo exhibitions include 2014 “Jesús-Rafael Soto: The Houston Penetrable” at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), and 2013 “Soto dans le collection du Museé national d’art moderne” at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
In 1973, the Jesús Soto Museum of Modern Art opened in Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela, with a collection of his work.