Renowned as art history’s leading kinetic artist, Jesús Rafael Soto explored the dematerialization, or ‘disintegration’ of the art object, breaking new ground while anticipating conceptual strategies to come.
Hauser & Wirth presents the first exhibition to focus on the critical first decade of the artist’s life in Paris, from 1951 – 1961. During this period, Soto exhibited at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles alongside established European artists like Josef Albers and Fernand Léger as well as members of Grupo Madí, an artist collective founded in Buenos Aires in 1946. A believer in art historical evolution, Soto built upon the work of the masters that preceded him in order to challenge figurative tradition via abstraction, repetition, and the flat application of paint. Imbued with vibration and movement, these early works constitute a breakthrough in Soto’s output, laying crucial groundwork for his later kinetic works and the uniquely fluid style that shaped his artistic vocabulary.Jesús Rafael Soto, Composition dynamique, 1951. Oil on canvas 83 x 67 x 2 cm / 32 5/8 x 26 3/8 x 3/4 in © Archives Soto. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: David Bordes