Jesús Rafael Soto - Latin America New York Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Caracas
    Private Collection, Miami

  • Literature

    G. G. Lemaire, Soto: la différence, Paris: Éditions de la différence, 1997. p 341

  • Catalogue Essay

    As the world inched towards the 21st Century, the public’s use and experience of art had been transported outside. Open air sculptures and installations were no longer unusual, and everyday there were fewer and fewer people who believed that art—in the true sense of the word—only belonged in museums. Major cities everywhere were reaping the results of their investments in the arts by showcasing large-scale works in parks and popular outdoor venues.

    Artists like Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Daniel Buren, among others, can be credited with igniting the spark that led to this widespread appreciation for public art. The universal reaches of their installations and architectural sculptures allowed them to interact with diverse landscapes around the world in dynamic and unique ways. Soto’s Penetrables, for example, encourage people to walk through them and take in the all-encompassing visual and material mass. Indeed, the term “universal” describes these artists rather perfectly: as wide-ranging and creative as each of them is, they always take advantage of elements that can be found virtually anywhere—light, space, people, and wonder.

    Although it is meant for an interior space, Virtiual Cube and Sphere emerged from Soto’s lifelong mission of creating art that directly interacts with people in both physical and intellectual ways. Like Soto’s public works, the piece which comprises the present lot has the ability to continuously revolutionize its setting. It radiates its density outwards, filling any space with graphic potential and alluring vigor. The slightest change in viewing angle or lighting seems to alter the work’s shape, casting striking shadows and optical patterns on any nearby surface. In doing so, it manages to subvert preconceived ideas of context and eliminate the option of emptiness. Regardless of where they are located, Soto’s works rely on human interaction and thought to achieve their full, transformative potential.

  • Artist Biography

    Jesús Rafael Soto

    Venezuelan • 1923 - 2005

    Jesús Rafael Soto was born in Ciudad Bolívar and studied at the School of Visual and Applied Arts in Caracas. During this period he became acquainted with Los Disidentes, a group of artists that included Alejandro Otero and Carlos Cruz-Diez. In addition to his fellow compatriots, Soto’'s work was influenced by Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian.

    The main artistic tenets evinced in Soto's works are pure abstraction, vibrations, progressions and geometric rigor. They can be seen through the use of lines and superimposed squares in his sculptures, made with paint and a series of industrial and synthetic materials. He spent much time in Europe, becoming a key member of the Group Zero movement, which included such artists as Lucio Fontana, Gunther Uecker and Yves Klein. As a result, Soto's work also incorporates modernist concepts such as light, time, movement, color manipulation and space. All of these facets place him as an important figure within the Kinetic and Op Art movements.

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Cubo y esfera virtual (Virtual Cube and Sphere)

Aluminum, nylon and Plexiglas.
141.73 x 47.24 x 47.24 in. (360 x 120 x 120 cm).

$600,000 - 800,000 

Latin America

14 & 15 November 2011
New York