Jesús Rafael Soto (1923-2005) was a Venezuelan artist and defining figure of Kinetic Art and Op Art, best known for his large-scale sculptures. 

After completing his artistic training at the Plastic and Applied Arts School in Caracas, Soto re-located to Paris in 1950, where he lived and worked for most of his career.

Exposure to the dynamic Parisian art scene and meeting Piet Mondrian, Alexander Calder, and Victor Vasarely inspired Soto to veer away from the one dimensional plane of painting into exploring three dimension spaces. 

Soto began experimenting with serial art, wherein formal elements were repeated within a plane. By eschewing traditional notions of composition and equilibrium (like top, bottom, left, right, beginning, end), Soto transcended traditional barriers of painting and sculpture. 

Soon Soto began incorporating movement into his works and alongside Yaacov Agam and Victor Vasarely, helping birth the Kinetic Art movement. If Soto's works didn't physically move, they created the illusion of movement in space - an Op Art fundamental. 

"Composition 1" is a paradigm example of Soto's signature style. Composed of hard-edge geometric squares in bold cobalt blue, yellow, and white, a cross-shaped section of the work contains tightly clustered vertical stripes. A sensation of movement is generated when looking at the squares in relation to the striped background.  

In 1973, the Jesús Rafael Soto Museum of Modern Art was opened in Soto's hometown of Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela. While receiving the award for Venezuela's National Prize for Plastic Arts over a decade prior, Soto expressed his intentions to build a museum in his hometown. During the 60's he began donating works to his hometown and laying the groundwork for one of its first cultural institutions. 

Soto's works can be found in the permanent collections of many of the most prestigious institutions globally including; MoMA (NY), Centres Pompidou (Paris), and the Tate (London) among many others. 

Additional images available on request.  

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

"Composition 1" (aka. "Yellow Squares")

Silkscreen and etching on embossed paper

Signed and numbered by the artist

From an edition of 95

36.5"H 36.5"W (work)

41"H 41"W (framed)

Very good condition

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