Jesus Rafael Soto at Galerie Perrotin, Paris

Posted on February 13 2015

While in Paris presenting our new Fall Winter collection in our new showroom, we pass by the Galerie Parrotin to watch the current Exhibition. There is truly something magical about the work of Jesus Rafael Soto, a Venezuelan-born op and kinetic art pioneer. Even the most unknowledgeable ones will, upon one look at any of his work, feel like they have entered another kind of reality. And that it exactly Soto's intention, many argue. Art critics say that Soto is among the most underrated artists of the 20th century, even though, his works are included in the most prominent museums' collections like MoMA, Guggenheim Museum, Tate Gallery, Stedelijk Museum and many more.

A bi-located retrospective of this exceptional artist opened on the both sides of the Atlantic, only a few days apart. The exhibition named “Chromochrome” contains a large number of Soto's large-scale and monumental artwork. Curator Matthieu Poirier believes that Soto's sculptures needed “both spaces”, i.e. Galerie Perrotin in Paris and its sister gallery in New York. It is no wonder because as many as 60 works are on display (some of which are on sale). The title of the show envisages Soto's sculptures which kinetically explore the subject of monochromatic colour related to time. 

Soto moved to Paris in 1950 which resulted in a shift towards a distinctly abstract style that developed ideas of Piet Mondriaan, Alexander Calder and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy. Although Soto's retrospectives toured Europe and were housed in many of the continent's prominent museums, art lovers argue that he is still not appreciated enough, even in the most expert circles. Even though Soto died in 2005, his art continues to live through his Paris studio where his long time assistant, artist Rene Ugarte uses parts that Soto prepared for repairs of any wear and tear.

 

Soto's work is alive and yearning for a touch so it can transform into a movement. His pieces are not unlike a palm tree swaying in a breeze. However, Soto was not James Turrell who was dubbed a magician for hiding all the wires. Instead, Soto was a realist – there was no magic. All the tricks are in plain sight. The retrospective gathered Soto's work from the artist's estate while the rest was borrowed from international museums. One of the most prominent sculptures on display includes the “Penetrable BBL bleu”, a striking technical construction which invites viewers to touch its baleen-like grid of PVC tubes hanging from a garage-sized metal frame. “Cube de Paris” (1990) is characterised by a central vortex of red nylon strands and requires a 360-degree viewing, while “Ecriture” is dominated by swirling metal reliefs which invite viewers to induce shuffling and experience the vibratory effect.

Link to the Perrotin Gallery's website here.

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