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Jesús Rafael Soto

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Jesús Rafael Soto
Born(1923-06-05)June 5, 1923
DiedJanuary 14, 2005(2005-01-14) (aged 81)
EducationEscuela de Artes Plasticas y Aplicadas
Notable workPenetrables
MovementKinetic and Op Art

Jesús Rafael Soto (June 5, 1923 – January 17, 2005) was a Venezuelan op and kinetic artist, a sculptor and a painter.[1][2]

His works can be found in the collections of the main museums of the world, including Tate (London), Museum Ludwig (Germany), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna (Roma) and MoMA (New York). One of the main museums of art in Venezuela, in his home town, has his name in tribute to him.

Early life


Jesús Rafael Soto was born in Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela. The eldest of four children born to Emma Soto and Luis Garcia Parra, a violin player. From a very young age, Soto wanted to help support his family anyway he could, but art was the most interesting to him. He picked up the guitar and also began recreating famous pieces of art that he found in various books, magazines and almanacs.

At 16, Soto started his serious artistic career when he began to create and paint posters for the cinemas in Ciudad Bolivar. "At that age - says the artist -, the only artists that I knew were the lettering painters. My family was very happy. I could earn some money, make lettering till the end of my days. Nobody looked further than that..."

In 1938, Soto participates in a student group affiliated to surrealism ideas and publish in the local journal some poems that scandalize the society. In the group, Soto learns about automatic writing and charcoal drawing. "I drew heads, portraits, I had a great technique. Finally, there were people that made a petition, the bishop asked to see it and he signed it. I got a scholarship…"



In 1942 he received a scholarship[3] to study artistic training at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Artes Aplicadas (Plastic and Applied Arts School) in Caracas, finishing his studies in 1947.[4] Once there, he took classes in "pure art" and the "training course for instructors in art education history."[3] The director of the school, Antonio Edmundo Monsanto, was instrumental to Soto’s career as well as other very important Venezuelan artist (Omar Carreño, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Narsico Deboug, Dora Hersen, Mateo Manaure, Luis Guevara, Pascual Navarro, Mercedes Pardo and Alejandro Otero) since he often brought inspirations from foreign countries to his students, including the latest from the avant-garde: cubism.

"When I got in the Fine Arts School - says Soto -, the first thing I saw was the reproduction of a dead nature of Braque". This image caused such impact on him because "...the color started to separate off the form" and because of the multiplicity of the viewing points that he wanted to represent. For Soto, this was the starting point.



After Soto had graduated from Escuela de Artes Plasticas y Artes Aplicadas, receiving a teaching degree, he was then hired to be the director of the Escuela de Bellas Artes de Maracaibo from 1947 to 1950. When he was teaching there, he received a government grant to travel to France, and settled in Paris.[5]

In France, Soto discovered Paul Klee and Piet Mondrian’s work, and the latter suggested the idea of ‘dynamizing the neoplasticism’. This, joined with Soto's will to create a new sort of movement that would add to three dimensional art concluded in associations with Yaacov Agam, Jean Tinguely, Victor Vasarely, and other artists connected with the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles and the Galerie Denise René.[3]



In the beginning, Soto painted post-impressionist works, latter getting interested in Cubism. After getting in touch with Malevich, Mondrian and the constructivists, Soto started to experiment with optical phenomena and op art and then he began to make art that was more than just pictures.[5]

The first serial works


In the 1950s, Soto experimented with serial art: the repetition of formal elements in the plan, the depersonalization of the work and the revelation of the relativity of the vision. He achieved the reproduction of vibratory phenomena and, above all, the rupture of notions like composition and equilibrium. Making the work of art a fragment of an infinite reality, that could be repeated without varying its essential structure. Without a beginning, an end, up, down, right, left. Helped by notions from the mathematics and music fields, Soto makes his serial art.

Incorporation of time and real movement


The next step on Soto's works was incorporating time and real movement through the treatment of the space. The work should be an autonomous object, where "real" situations were put into play, and not a plan where a determinate vision was projected. At the same time that the spectator was moving in front of the work of art, to obtain from it its optical vibrational effects, time and real movement were being incorporated. In his Dos cuadrados en el espacio (1953), Soto began a series retaking the approaches of Malevich, specially about adopting the square as the "only valid form".

In his Desplazamiento de un cuadro transparente (1953–54) he created a spatial effect on a plane surface that latter was developed in a tridimensional way, superimposing two or more Plexiglas sheets, transparent but painted with straight or curved drawings that changed the way they were seen as the spectator moved, inviting the participation of the public. This work was the response to a discovery: the ambiguity of spatial perception

In 1955 Soto participated in the exhibition Le Mouvement, in the Denise René gallery, in Paris. Other artists being shown were Yaacov Agam, Marcel Duchamp and Victor Vasarely. The exhibition prompted the publication of the ‘Yellow Manifest’ about kinetic art and the visual researches involving spectators and stimulus. The kinetic art movement gained force in Europe and Latin-America after this exhibition.

Dematerialization of form


As results of the optical vibratory states that Soto achieves from the superposition of plans, a new situation appears: the outbreak of the solid body, its dematerialization in our retina, phenomena that is produced for the first time in Permutación (1956). In Estructuras cinéticas de elementos geométricos (1955-57) and Armonía transformable (1956) is added a new element that was relegated in his research: color. It is about the superposition of different plexiglass planes, where color frames are inscribed, introducing new vibratory elements. The real division of the plane that had previously undergone an unfolding is produced here. Its structure already suggests a true spatial dimension, as a consequence of the equivalence of its obverse and its reverse. The situation becomes more complex, due to the multiplication of different lines, colors and directions. Plexiglass, medium that had provided the possibility of conforming aleatory states, begins to be an impediment and the search for a new way of materializing vibration starts.

Brussels Mural, Jesús Soto (1958). Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas.

The conformation of a new visual order


To the preoccupation of searching for a new way of materializing the vibratory states is added the concern to approach human scale, integrating Soto's works to architecture. This is how in Estructura Cinética (1957) the frames that had been drawn on plexiglass become real elements: metal rods welded between them. Soto's works become real special objects that visitors are able to penetrate.

In the 1950s and beginning of the 1960s, starting from his basic concept of matter and space as different manifestations of energy, Soto had already structured the conceptual platform of his plastic language. Works like Escritura and Muro de Bruselas, both from 1958, already contain all the elements that will be developed later.

"My work of art - as Soto says -, is totally abstract. It was born from a reflection about painting and the propositions of our biggest (artists). I don't copy nature, I isolate fundamental properties of the reality. For me, works are, before all, signs, no matter. It would be wrong to see in the work that is in front of you the object of my art, it isn't there if not as a witness, sign of another thing..."

Penetrable amarillo. Museo Soto, Ciudad Bolivar.

Space plenitude


All of Soto's work, from start to end, answers to the same necessity of materialize his concept of the world as an impossible reality to measure in a human scale; vision where are vital the energy and space as essential situations inside nature. To reveal this situations in all of its complex dimension was the impulse that has fed his plastic research.

"When you enter a penetrable, you have the sensation of being in a light swirl, a total plenitude of vibrations. The Penetrable is a kind of concretization of this plenitude in which I make people move and make them feel the body of space. Is a way of materializing what exist, is an immaterial state, one state that for me isn't irreal, but a reality. Reality exists all over the place and fill all the universe. Emptiness doesn't exist, anywhere. This is my basic line of thought."


The Soto sphere in Caracas

'Soto would set the bases for an art that transcended the conventional parameters of painting and sculpture.' [5] By inviting the spectator to participate in the work, instead of merely looking from a distance, Soto more deeply engages the audience, and makes the experience more intriguing and stimulating.[5] Soto had a partner in this movement. On the other hand, his counterpart Carlos Cruz-Diez focused more on the way colours are perceived by the eye.[5] One of his series called Fisicromias (Physiochromies) shows how coloured light is perceived and displaced through one's eyes.[6] Another artist that participated in this style was Alejandro Otero. His series Colortions (Rhythmicolors) combine the same concepts of the perception of colour in the eye and participators' movement with the work, but gave greater attention to how the colours are controlled with vertical lines.[5]

Jesús Rafael Soto died in 2005 in Paris, and is buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse.[7]



Like many other Venezuelan artists from this time, Jesus Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez considered their works a response to what they felt the problems were in art of their time. They wanted to express a more universal process of art. Because of this, their works are contributions that continue to enrich the art world.[5] Their willingness to contribute and put themselves in a more universal approach to art, was a direct rebuttal to the traditional views of art in Latin America.[5] With Venezuela, this was a way for them to add what they felt was missing in the art of Latin America.

Painting, in history was an act of responding to the situation at hand in the mind of Soto and Cruz-Diez.[5] "Everything else was academic, anachronistic, or as Alejandro Otero said, "the work of a man hiding behind time.""[5]


August 25, 1973. Inauguration of the Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto in Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela

In 1973, the Jesús Soto Museum of Modern Art opened in Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela with a collection of his work. Venezuelan architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva designed the building for the museum and Italian op artist Getulio Alviani was called to run it. Something that is different about this gallery is that a large number of the exhibits are wired to the electricity supply so that they can move.[8]

Argentina Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires
Australia National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Belgium Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels
Musée de Sculpture en Plein Air, Middelheim
Brazil Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo
Canada Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal
Chile Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende, Santiago
Colombia Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali
Cuba Casa de las Américas, La Havana
Denmark Louisiana, Humlebaek
Egypt Universal Graphic Museum, Giza
Finland The Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki
France Le Musée Martiniquais des Arts des Amériques- M2A2, Le Lamentin (Martinique)
Musée d'Art Contemporain, Lyon
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Fonds Départemental d'Art Contemporain, Val-de-Marne
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Pau
Germany Josef Albers Museum, Quadrat, Bottrop
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Sprengel Museum Hannover, Hanover
Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld
Museum Wurth, Kunzelsau
Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen
Sammlung Lenz Schönberg, Munich
Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart
Ulmer Museum, Ulm
Israel The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
Italy Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Roma
Fondazione Il Giardino di Daniel Spoerri, Seggiano (Grosseto)
Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin
Fondazione Calderara, Vacciago di Ameno
Japan Fukuoka Art Museum
Museum of Modern Art, Hokkaido
Itami City Art Museum, Itami
The Iwaki City Museum, Iwaki
Museum of Modern Art, Saitama
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama
Mexico Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico.
Nicaragua Museo de Arte Latino Americano Contemporáneo de Managua
Netherlands Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort
Peter Stuyvesant Foundation, Amsterdam
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo
Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam
New Zealand Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland
Roumania Muezul de Arta Universala Burcuresti, Bucarest
South Korea Ho-Am Art Museum, Seoul
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul
Tongyoung Nammang Open Air Sculpture Park,Tongyoung City
Spain Museo Luis González Robles, Universidad de Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares
Museo de La Asegurada, Alicante
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
Fundación ARCO, Madrid
Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas, Grande Canarie
Fundación César Manrique, Teguise, Lanzarote (Canary Islands)
Sweden Malmö Konstmuseum, Malmö
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Switzerland Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel
Kunstmuseum, Berne
United Kingdom Tate Gallery, London
U.S.A. Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (New York)
Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase (New York)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Oklahoma City Art Museum, Oklahoma City, (Oklahoma)
Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, Austin, (Texas)
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
Venezuela Fundación Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber, Caracas
Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas
Museo de Arte Moderno - Fundación Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolívar
Museo de Arte Moderno de Mérida Juan Astorga Anta, Mérida

Environmental integrations

  • 1957: "Structure cinétique", Ciudad Universitaria, Caracas, Venezuela
    Teresa Carreño Cultural Complex
  • 1958: "Wall of Brussels", I.V.I.C., Caracas, Venezuela (made for Universal Exhibition of Brussels, 1958). "Tour de Bruxelles", I.V.I.C., Caracas, Venezuela (made for Universal Exhibition of Brussels, 1958).
  • 1967: "Volume suspendu", Expo 67, Pavililon of Venezuela, Montreal, Canada (ephemeral environment in the pavilion made by architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva for intégration of Soto's monumental artwork, Universal Exhibition in Montréal, 1967).
  • 1968-69: '' Ephemeral Environment'' made for the end year festivities, Place Furstenberg, Paris, France.
  • 1969: "Mur cinétique" (2), UNESCO, Paris, France. "Progresión a centro móvil", Torre Capriles, Caracas, Venezuela. "Paralelas vibrantes", Torre Capriles, Caracas, Venezuela. "Volumen cinético", Torre Capriles, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 1970: Hall, Deutsche Bundesbank, Francfort, Germany. "Extension et progression dans l'eau", Rethel college, The Ardennes, France. Hall, Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie, Rennes, France.
  • 1971: "Vibración amarilla", I.V.I.C., Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 1972: Hall, pharmaceutical Laboratory Sandoz, Basle, Switzerland.
  • 1972-82: Complejo Cultural Teresa Carreño, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 1973: "El gran mural de las escrituras", Banco Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela. "Extension et progression dans l'eau", Paseo Ciencias, Maracaibo, Venezuela.
  • 1973-95: "Penetrable", Parque García Sanabría, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.
  • 1974: "Mur cinétique", International duOffice for Work, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 1975: Hall and restaurant of the personnel, Régie Renault, Boulogne- Billancourt, France. "Progression", CES (college), Moreuil, France.
  • 1977: " Suspended Virtual Volume", Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto, Canada. "Mural Cavendes", Edificio Cavendes, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 1979: "Environnement", Reception, Cars-Motors, Caracas, Venezuela. "Gran escritura negra", Banco de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela. "Volumen virtual suspendido", Centro Banaven, Caracas, Venezuela. "Interférences vibrantes", West Deutsche Landesbank, Dortmund, Germany.
  • 1982: "Progresión suspendida amarilla y blanca", Entidad de Ahorro y Préstamo, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela.
  • 1983: "Progresión amarilla", Metro Chacaíto, Caracas, Venezuela. "Cubo virtual azul y negro", Metro Chacaíto, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 1984: "Extensión azul y blanca", Seguros La Seguridad, Caracas, Venezuela. "Volumen virtual polícromo", Deutsche Eisenbahn Versicherung, Cologne, Germany.
  • 1985: "Esfera Japón", Edificio Banco Lara, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 1987: " Cubo Meneven", Edificio Corpoven, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela.
  • 1988: "Ovoide Polar", Fundación Polar, Caracas, Venezuela. "Cubo Provincial", Banco Provincial, Caracas, Venezuela. " Mur Polychrome", CFDT, Paris, France. " Ecriture", CFDT, Paris, France. " Large Sphere of Seoul", Olympic Park, Seoul, South Korea (made for Olympiade of Arts during Olympic Games in Seoul, 1988). "Media esfera roja", Seguros La Seguridad, Caracas, Venezuela. "Cubo virtual", Torre Banco Provincial, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 1992: "' Media esfera azul y Verde", Seville, Spain (made for Universal Exhibition in Seville, 1992).
  • 1993: "Dos cubos virtuales", Darier Hentsch & Cie., Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 1993-94: "Cubo de Francia", Ambassade de France, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 1995: "Welcoming Flag", Dowa Fire & Marine Insurance Company Phoenix Tower, Osaka, Japan.
  • 1989-1995: " Volume virtual Air France", Air France Head Office, Roissy, France.
  • 1997: Integration of four artworks, Hall, KPMG, La Défense (Paris), France. "Cube noir Penetrable", Fondazione Il Giardino di Daniel Spoerri, Seggiano (Grosseto), Italy. "Sphère bleue", Samsung Plaza, Gare de Suhyun (Megaport of Bundang), South Korea. " Penetrable of Tongyoung", Tongyoung Nammang Open Air Sculpture Park, Korea (1997). " Virtual Ellipsoids", Dresdner Bank Head Office, Berlin, Germany. "Esfera de Caracas", motorway Francisco Fajardo, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 1998-99: "La esfera de Margarita", Porlamar, Margarita Island, Venezuela.
  • 2001: "' Large oval", new Chinese Petroleum Corporation Head Office, Taipei, Taiwan.

Individual exhibitions

1949 Taller Libre de Arte, Caracas, Venezuela.
1956 Galerie Denise René, Paris, France.
1957 Galerie Aujourd'hui, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium.
Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela.
1959 Galerie Iris Clert, Paris, France.
Galleri Vallingatan, Stockholm, Sweden.
1961 Galerie Rudolf Zwirner, Essen; Galerie Brusberg, Hanover, Germany.
Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela.
1962 Galerie Ad Libitum, Antwerp, Belgium.
Galerie Edouard Loeb, Paris, France.
1963 Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany.
1964 Galerie Müller, Stuttgart, Germany.
Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela.
1965 Kootz Gallery, New York, U.S.A.
Galerie Edouard Loeb, Paris, France.
Signals Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
1966 Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf;

Pfalzgalerie des Bezirksverbandes, Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Galleria del Naviglio, Milan, Italy.
Kootz Gallery, New York, U.S.A.
Galleria del Cavallino, Venice, Italy.
Centro Arte Viva-Feltrinelli, Trieste, Italy.
1967 Galerie Denise René, Paris, France.
Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela.
1968 Galerie Françoise Mayer, Brussels, Belgium.
Kunsthalle, Bern, Switzerland;

Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (1969); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium (1969); Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (1969).

Marlborough Galleria d'Arte, Rome, Italy.
Galleria Lorenzelli, Bergame, Italy.
1969 Galleria Notizie, Turin, Italy.
Galleria del Naviglio, Milan, Italy.
Galleria Flori, Firenze, Italy.
Galleria Giraldi, Livourne, Italy.
Estudio Actual, Caracas, Venezuela.
Svensk-Franska Konstgalleriet, Stockholm, Sweden;

Galerie Bonnier, Geneva, Switzerland (1970).

Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, New York, U.S.A.
Théâtre du Huitième, Lyon, France.
1970 Galleria de la Nova Loggia, Bologna, Italy.
Galerie Godard Lefort, Montreal, Canada.
Kunstverein, Mannheim;

Pfalzgalerie des Bezirksverbandes, Kaiserslautern; Ulmer Museum, Ulm, Germany.

Galerie Semiha Huber, Zürich, Switzerland.
Galerie Denise René, Paris, France.
Galerija Suvremene Umjetnosti, Zagreb, Yugoslavia.
Galerie Buchholz, Munich, Germany.
1971 Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago;

Akron Art Center, Ohio, U.S.A.

Galerie Denise René/Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Galleria Rotta, Milan, Italy.
Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela;

Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá, Colombia (1972).

Kunstverein, Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Ariete Graphica, Milan, Italy.
Galería de Arte, INCIBA, Palacio de las Industrias, Caracas, Venezuela (1971-1972).
1972 Estudio Actual, Caracas, Venezuela.
Galerie Beyeler, Basle;

Galerie Alice Pauli, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Galleria Levi, Milan, Italy.
Formes et Muraux, Lyon, France.
Marlborough Godard, Toronto, Canada.
1973 Estudio Dos, Valencia, Venezuela.
Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela.
Galleria Corsini, Intra (Lake Maggiore), Italy.
Galleria Godel, Rome, Italy.
Galería Arte Contacto, Caracas, Venezuela.
1974 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, U.S.A.;

Musée Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Pays-Bas (1975); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., U.S.A. (1975).

Galerie Denise René, New York, U.S.A.
1975 Galería Arte Contacto, Caracas, Venezuela.
1976 Galerie Watari, Tokyo, Japan.
1977 Galerie Bonnier, Geneva, Switzerland.
Centre International de Création Artistique, Sénanque, France.
Galería El Parque, Valencia, Venezuela.
Galería Arte Contacto, Caracas, Venezuela.
Bibliothèque Municipale, Caen, France.
Galerie Valeur, Nagoya, Japan.
1978 Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark.
Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden.
1979 Helsinki Kaupungin Taidekokoelmat, Helsinki, Finland.
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.
1980 Galerie Denise René, Paris, France.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Sala Ipostel, Caracas, Venezuela.
Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas, Venezuela.
Galerie Ferm, Malmö, Sweden.
1981 Galería de Arte Rolando Oliver Rugeles, Mérida, Venezuela.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Francisco Narváez, Porlamar, Venezuela.
Galería Témpora, Bogotá, Colombia.
Casa de Colón, Las Palmas, Grande Canarie, Spain.
1982 Palacio de Velázquez, Madrid, Spain.
Caja de Ahorros Provincial, Alicante, Spain.
Fundación Joan Miró, Barcelone, Spain.
Colegio de Arquitectos, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.
Galería Theo & Sala Celini, Madrid, Spain.
Galería Quintero, Barranquilla, Colombia.
Ateneo, Zea, Venezuela.
1983 Casa de la Cultura, La Victoria, Venezuela.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Venezuela.
Centro de Bellas Artes, Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Sala Luzán, Saragossa, Spain.
1984 Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, U.S.A.
1985 Galería Garcés Velásquez, Bogotá, Colombia.
Achenbach Art Consulting, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Center for the Fine Arts, Miami, U.S.A.
Hokin Gallery, Miami, U.S.A.
1986 Contemporary Sculpture Center, Tokyo;

Contemporary Sculpture Center, Osaka, Japan.

Expressions Art Gallery, Coconut Grove (Florida), U.S.A.
1987 Galerie Gilbert Brownstone, Paris, France.
1988 Ateneo, Boconó, Venezuela.
Elisabeth Franck Gallery, Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium.
Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, Porto Rico.
Hyundai Gallery, Seoul, South Korea.
1989 Galerie Hermanns, Munich, Germany.
Museo de Arte, Coro, Venezuela.
1990 Galería Theo, Madrid, Spain.
Theospacio, Madrid, Spain.
Estudio Theo, Madrid, Spain.
Galerie Sapone, Nice, France.
Galleria Eva Menzio, Turin, Italy.
Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura;

Museum of Modern Art, Saitama; Iwaki City Art Museum, Iwaki; Itami City Museum of Art, Itami, Japan.

Galería Theo, Barcelona, Spain.
Galleria Art Valley 88, Forte dei Marmi, Italy.
Josef Albers Museum, Quadrat, Bottrop, Germany.
1991 Gallery 44, Kaarst, Germany.
Gallery 44, FIAC, Paris, France.
Humphrey Gallery, New York, U.S.A.
Galleria Arte 92, Milan, Italy.
Galería Quintero, Barranquilla, Colombia.
1992 Galería Theo, ARCO, Madrid, Spain.
Abbaye Saint-André, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Meymac;

Le Carré/Musée Bonnat, Bayonne; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Pau, France (1993); Fundação de Serralves, Porto, Portugal (1993).

Altamira Fine Art, Caracas, Venezuela.
Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas;

Museo de Arte Moderno - Fundación Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela (1993).

1993 Altamira Fine Art, ART ASIA, Hong Kong.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Maracay Mario Abreu, Maracay, Venezuela.
1994 Elisabeth Franck Gallery, Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium.
Casa de la Cultura Juan Félix Sánchez, Mérida;

Ateneo Jesús Soto, Tovar, Venezuela.

Festival International de Biarritz, France.
Gallery Seomi, Seoul, South Korea.
In Khan Gallery, New York, U.S.A.
1995 Durban-Segnini Gallery, ART MIAMI '95, Miami, U.S.A.
Galería Exedra, Quito, Ecuador.
Galería Durban, FIA, Caracas, Venezuela.
"Espacio Soto", Galería Durban, Caracas, Venezuela.
Hyundai Gallery, Seoul, South Korea.
1997 Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France;

Stiftung für Konkrete Kunst, Reutlingen, Germany; Museu de Arte Contempôranea da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.

Galerie Denise René, Paris, France.
Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, South Korea.
Galerie Denise René, ART 28'97, Basle, Switzerland.
Galería Durban, Caracas, Venezuela.
Fairmate Art Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan.
J.G.M. Galerie, FIAC, Paris, France.
National Central University, Chung-Li, Taiwan.
1998 Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, Salvador (Bahia), Brazil.
Riva Yares Gallery, Scottsdale (Arizona), U.S.A.
Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Espacio Cultural PDV, Caracas, Venezuela.
Centro Cultural del Conde Duque, Madrid, Spain.
Riva Yares Gallery, Santa Fe (Nouveau Mexique), U.S.A.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Casa Andrade Muricy, Curitiba (Paraná), Brazil.
Durban Segnini Gallery, Coral Gables (Florida), U.S.A.
1999 Banque Bruxelles Lambert, Brussels, Belgium.
Galerie Schoeller, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Sala de Arte Telefónica, Santiago, Chile.
Galería de arte La Previsora, Caracas, Venezuela.
Galerie am Lindenplatz AG, Vaduz, Liechtenstein.
Galería de Arte Ascaso, Valencia, Venezuela.
2000 Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico.
Allianz Versicherungs-AG, Berlin, Germany.
Fundación Corp Group Centro Cultural, Caracas, Venezuela.
Galerie Denise René, FIAC, Paris, France.
2001 Riva Yares Gallery, Scottsdale (Arizona), U.S.A.
Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Colombia.
Riva Yares Gallery, Santa Fe (Arizona), U.S.A.
Fondation Veranneman, Kruishoutem, Belgium.
2002 Joan Guaita Art, Palma de Majorque, (Baleareic Islands), Spain.
Dan Galeria, São Paulo, Brazil.
Centro de Arte de Maracaibo Lía Bermúdez, Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Galería de Arte Ascaso, Caracas, Venezuela.
2003 Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Venezuela.
Centro Cultural Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador.
Galerie Denise René, Paris, France.
2004 Galería Dimaca, Caracas, Venezuela.
Joan Guaita Art, Palma de Majorque, (Baleareic Islands), Spain.
Galerie Denise René, Paris. France.
Sicardi Gallery, Houston (Texas), U.S.A.
2005 Riva Yares Gallery, Scottsdale (Arizona), U.S.A.
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, Brazil.
Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba (Paraná), Brazil.
Artespacio, Santiago, Chile.
Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico, Mexico.
MoLAA Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach (California), U.S.A.
Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela.
Museo de Arte Coro, Coro, Estado Falcón, Venezuela.
2006 Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración IESA, Caracas, Venezuela.
Centro de Arte la Estancia, Caracas, Venezuela.
Trasnocho Cultural, Caracas, Venezuela.
Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
GAMEC, Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporaneo, Bergamo, Italy.
Pablo Goebel Fines Arts, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico.
Galeria Theo Spacio, Madrid, Spain.
2008 Galería Elvira Gonzalez, Madrid, Spain.
Leon Tovar Gallery, « Now on view », New York, U.S.A.
Robert Sandelson and Contemporary International Art, Londres, United Kingdom.
2009 Galerie Max Hetzler, “Jesús Rafael Soto”, Berlin, Germany.
2010 Galerie Denise René espace marais et rive gauche, “Les harmonies combinatoires”, Paris, France.
2011 Haunch of Venison Gallery, “Jesús Rafael Soto”, New York, U.S.A.
2012 NYU Grey Art Gallery, "Soto: Paris and beyond", New York, U.S.A.
Galeria Cayon, "Soto: negro sobre blanco - blanco sobre negro", Madrid, Spain.
Galería de arte Ascaso, " Soto : Color sobre color ", Caracas, Venezuela.
Musée de l’Hospice Saint-Roch, " Pénétrable BBL bleu ", Issoudun, France.
Bosi contemporary gallery, " Soto unearthed : a 1968 film and selected early work ", New York, U.S.A.
2013 Galerie Denise René, Rive gauche, “ Soto”, Paris, France.
Centre Pompidou, Mnam, " Soto – dans la collection du Musée National d’Art Moderne ", Paris, France.
Stand galería Cayón, " ARCO ", Madrid, Spain.
2014 MFA Houston, “Soto, The Houston pénétrable”, Houston, U.S.A.
Art institute of Chicago, “Jesús Rafael Soto : Pénétrable de Chicago”, Chicago, U.S.A.
2015 Galerie Perrotin, “Soto : Chronochrome”, New York, U.S.A.
Galerie Perrotin, “Soto : Chronochrome”, Paris, France.
Ascaso Gallery, “Soto Estático Dinámico”, Caracas, Venezuela.
Musée Soulages, “Soto – Une rétrospective”, Rodez, France.
2016 Galería Cayón, " Jesús Soto – Virtual Soto ", Madrid, Spain.
2017 León Tovar Gallery, « Jesús Rafael Soto. Dans son jus”, New York, U.S.A.
Université catholique de Lyon, “Pénétrable de Lyon”, Lyon, France.
Cecilia Brunson Projects, “Jesús Rafael Soto : Sound Mural ”, London, United Kingdom.
2018 Galería Odalys, “ Soto ”, Madrid, Spain.
Galería Cayón, “ Soto Múltiple ”, Madrid, Spain.
Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo, “Jesus Rafael Soto - Penetrable BBL Bleu. Selected works from the collection”, Tokyo, Japan.
2019 Hauser & Wirth Gallery, “ Soto Vibrations, 1950-1960 ”, New York, U.S.A.


1957 "Premio de Pintura Abstracta", Galería Don Hatch, Caracas, Venezuela.
1960 "Premio Nacional de Pintura", Venezuela..
1963 "Premio de la 2a Bienal Reverón", Caracas, Venezuela.

"Premio Wolf", Bienal de São Paulo, Brésil.

1964 "David E. Bright Foundation Award", XXXII Biennale Internazionale d'Arte di Venezia, Italie.

"Premio Gobierno de Córdoba al Autor de la Mejor Obra Extranjera", II Bienal Americana de Arte, Córdoba, Argentine. "Premio de la Ciudad de Córdoba", Argentine.

1965 "Primer Premio del Primer Salón Panamericano de Pintura", V Festival Nacional de Arte, Cali, Colombie.
1967 "Medaglia d'Oro del XVIe Convegno Internazionale Artisti, Critici e Studiosi d'Arte", Rimini, Italie.

Remise des clés de la ville de Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela.

1968 "Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres", France.
1969 "3e Prix du Festival International de la Peinture", Cagnes-sur-Mer, France.
1970 "Premio Apollonio, 1a Bienal del Grabado Latinoamericano", San Juan, Porto Rico.
1972 "Orden Andrés Bello en Primer Grado", Caracas, Venezuela.
1978 "Doctor Honoris Causa de la Universidad de Oriente", Venezuela.

"Orden Mérito al Trabajo en Primer Grado", Caracas, Venezuela.

1979 "Conseiller d'Honneur Vitalice", Association Internationale des Arts Plastiques (UNESCO), Paris, France.
1980 "Intergraphik Preis 1980", Berlin, Allemagne.
1981 "Prix d'Achat, 14e Biennale d'Art Graphique", Ljubljana, Slovénie.

"Médaille Picasso", UNESCO, Paris, France.

1982 "Gold Medal", 6. Norsk Internasjonal Grafikk Biennale, Fredrikstad, Norvège.
1983 "Prix d'Achat", 15e Biennale Internationale de Gravure, Ljubljana, Slovénie.

"Orden Francisco de Miranda en 1er Grado", Venezuela.

1984 "Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas", Consejo Nacional de la Cultura (CONAC), Venezuela.

"Miembro Honorario", Sociedad Bolivariana de Arquitectos, Caracas, Venezuela. "Profesor Honorario del Instituto Pedagógico de Caracas", Venezuela.

1985 "Orden Nacional Miguel Antonio Caro-Rufino José Cuervo", Bogotá, Colombie.
1986 "Membre Titulaire", Académie Européenne des Sciences, des Arts et des Lettres, Paris.

"Orden Municipalidad del Distrito Sucre", Consejo Municipal del Distrito Sucre, Caracas, Venezuela.

1988 "Orden Samán de Aragua", Gobernación del Estado Aragua, Aragua, Venezuela.

"Medalla Círculo de las Fuerzas Armadas", Caracas, Venezuela.

1989 "Orden Doctor Tulio Febres Cordero Primera Clase", Asamblea Legislativa del Estado de Mérida, Mérida, Venezuela.

"Medalla de Honor", Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC), Caracas, Venezuela. "Médaille d'Argent des Arts Plastiques", Académie d'Architecture, Paris, France.

1990 "Médaille Picasso" (Vermeil), UNESCO, Paris, France.

"Doctor Honoris Causa en Arquitectura", Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela. "Visitante Ilustre", San Fernando, Venezuela.

"Orden Antonio José de Sucre en su Primera Clase", Cumaná, Venezuela. "Orden Ciudad de Mérida Primera Clase", Consejo del Municipio Libertador, Mérida, Venezuela.

"Santiago de los Caballeros de Mérida", Mérida, Venezuela. "Medalla Universidad de Los Andes", Mérida, Venezuela.

1991 "Mitglieder der Akademie der Künste", Berlin, Allemagne.

"Diploma", Consejo Cultural Mundial, Canberra, Australie.

1993 "Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres", France.

"Orden General de División Francisco Esteban Gómez (Clase Oro)", Nueva Esparta, Venezuela. Remise des clés de la ville de Maracay, Venezuela.

1994 "Doctor Honoris Causa", Universidad Nacional Experimental de Guayana, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela.

"Hijo ilustre de la Bienal de la Ciudad de Cuenca", Equateur. "Amigo de Venezuela", Fundación Venezuela Positiva, Caracas, Venezuela.

1995 "Premio Distrital de Artes Plásticas 'Pedro Angel González'", Caracas, Venezuela.

"Grand Prix National de la Sculpture", France. "Miembro Honorario de la Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana Benjamín Carrión", Quito, Equateur.

1996 "Miembro Honorario de la Fundación Orquesta Filarmónica Nacional", Caracas, Venezuela.

"Orden Congreso de Angostura en grado de Gran Collar", Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela. "Orden del Libertador en grado de Gran Cordón", Venezuela.

1999 "Gran Premio Asociación Española de Críticos de Arte" (AECA), ARCO '99, Madrid, Espagne.

"Doctor Honoris Causa de la Universidad de Carabobo", Valencia, Venezuela. "Orden Arturo Michelena en su Unica Clase", Alcaldía de Valencia, Venezuela.

"Premio de la Crítica en la especialidad de Artes Visuales Internacional", El Círculo de Críticos de Arte, Santiago, Chile.


  • Abadie, Daniel. Entrevista para el catálogo de la Exposición Soto: cuarenta años de creación, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, 1983
  • Abadie, Daniel; Gómez, Hannia; Nordmann, Agnés and Pierre, Arnaud. Soto A Gran Escala. Published by MACCSI. ISBN 980-272-232-4
  • Boulton, Alfredo. Jesús Soto. Editorial Armitano, 1973[9]
  • Brodsky, Estrellita and Rich, Sarah. Soto: Paris and Beyond, 1950-1970. New York University, 2012. ISBN 978-0-934349-16-1
  • Clay, Jean. Rostros del Arte Moderno. Monte Avila Editores, Caracas, 1971
  • Cuevas, Tatiana, Obrist, Hans Ulrich, Santoscoy, Paola. Jesús Rafael Soto. "Visión en Movimiento", 2007. ISBN 987-21336-3-8
  • Hernández D’Jesus, Enrique. Entrevista publicada em el suplemento especial del Diario de Caracas, 1993
  • Huerta, Ninoska. Soto Classical and Modern. Fundación Corp Group Centro Cultural, Caracas, 2000. ISBN 978-980-6334-42-7
  • Jiménez, Ariel. Texto para el catálogo de la exposición retrospectiva de Jesús Soto. Francia, Abbaye Saint André Centre d’Art Contemporain Meymac. 1992
  • Jiménez, Ariel. Texto para el catálogo de la exposición SOTO: Re-pensar lo visible, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Maracay Mario Abreu, 1993
  • Jiménez, Ariel. Jesús Soto in Conversation with Ariel Jiménez. Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros ISBN 978-0-9823544-6-9
  • Joray, Marcel and Sot,o Jesús Rafael. Soto. Éditions du Griffon, Paris, 1984. ASIN: B0018PFZBK
  • Lemaire, Gerard-Georges. Soto (Serie Mains et merveilles). Editions La Difference, Paris, 1997 ISBN 978-2-7291-1113-7
  • Messer, Thomas M., Renard, Claude-Louis, Soto, Jesús. Soto: A Retrospective Exhibition, catalogue published to coincide with the exhibition. Accompanying text in English, French and Spanish, Published by: The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1974.

See also



  1. ^ "Jesus Rafael Soto Op Art For Sale". RoGallery.
  2. ^ Edelist, Sydney (June 22, 2011). "Photos: Kinetic Art Of Jesus Rafael Soto". Huffington Post.
  3. ^ a b c "Bibliography of Jesus Rafael Soto". widewalls.ch. 2017-11-15.
  4. ^ Jesus Rafael Soto Marlborough Fine Art.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Olea, Hector. Inverted Utopias. Yale University Press. p. 572.
  6. ^ "Physicromie". Carlos Cruz-Diez. 2017-12-15.
  7. ^ "Jesus Rafael Soto". Guggenheim.org. 2017-11-16.
  8. ^ "Jesus Rafael Soto". Art Discover.
  9. ^ Soto, Jesus. Jesús Soto. Editorial Armitano. OCLC 856501.