Galería RGR, Mexico City, presents a solo exhibition of Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto (1923 – 2005), a leading figure of Kinetic art. Titled “The Instability of the Real” and commemorating 100 years since the artist’s birth, the exhibition, curated by Tatiana Cuevas and Paola Santos Coy, brings together a combination of historical works from the artist’s estate, spanning over five decades. On view beginning February 7, 2023, the exhibition will coincide with the gallery’s group presentation at Zona Maco.
A pioneer of kinetic art, Soto is one of the last century’s most influential figures in Latin American and European art. His practice transcended static concepts of form and volume by formulating serial relationships between the elements that made up his work. He gradually integrated instability, vibration, and dematerialization processes until he transferred the pictorial plane into the three- dimensional.
Informed by color theory and negative space, often using found materials such as tangled metal wires, wood, and nylon, Soto formed constructions that played with perception and experience. Works on show include Colores y vibracion (1999), as well as other important, historical works such as Escritura y cuadrados negros (1977) and Vibración (1977). In Doble escritura negro abajo (1977), Soto combines a painting on wood with metal and nylon string metal to offer an optical vibration that modifies both space and the viewer’s experience of it —a defining characteristic of Latin American abstraction.
Soto’s pioneering perceptual experience of the artistic object, in which the spectator’s participation is essential, began in the sixties and led to the relational aesthetics of the early 2000s. Faced with a world in constant flux, kineticism, in the words of the art critic Jean Clay, “is not about ‘things that move,’ but the awareness of the instability of the real.” In a world that continues to change, the premises postulated by Soto remain as urgent as ever.
“We’re excited to be offering this presentation of internationally important Soto works during the leading annual art moment for Mexico City, where visitors travel globally to feel the momentum of Zona Maco and the rich cultural offerings that surround the city,” Galería RGR founder Ricardo González said. “The gallery’s presentation at the fair also brings together a roster of influential Latin American and international artists, continuing our dedication to showcasing important modern and contemporary art from around the world.”
Jesús R. Soto: The Instability of the Real is the artist’s first solo exhibition on view at the gallery.
About the Artist
Jesús Rafael Soto studied at the Caracas School of Fine Arts and later relocated to Paris in 1950, where he became a part of “Los Disidentes,” a Venezuelan group of artists that seek to renew their country´s art scene. During his career, he developed a crucial role in redefining an artwork’s reach and social function, starting from investigating the space-time unit of an object. Soto is commonly associated with Op art, and his work is characterized by the continuous study of movement and dematerialization of form, producing Kinetic constructions in which the spectator´s active role is key.
About Galería RGR
Galería RGR was founded by Ricardo González in Venezuela in 2012 before moving to its current location in Mexico City in 2018. The gallery champions both established and emergent contemporary artists from across the globe, whose practices and research point toward the distinct futures offered by abstractionism.
Covering 260 sq m, the gallery space is located in the San Miguel Chapultepec neighborhood, in a building previously used as the editorial offices of Mexico’s youth magazine, ERES (1988-2012). Using abstract art as a guiding thread, the gallery unites various artistic fields and lines of thought.
Having begun with the representation of key Venezuelan artists of the modern-contemporary art juncture, such as Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesús Rafael Soto, the gallery’s evolution has meant a continuous search for fruitful intersections between the present and the near past, expanding beyond geographical limits.