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  • ICAA Record ID
    Leenhardt, Jacques, 1942-
    Soto / Jacques Leenhardt
    Soto 1988. -- Caracas : Estudio 1, 1988.
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Leenhardt, Jacques. "Soto." In Soto 1988, 9-10. Caracas : Estudio 1, 1988.
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In this essay Jacques Leenhardt philosophically discusses the new idea of “knowledge” as applied to art, as in Paul Cézanne’s work. The French intellectual discusses how Jesús Rafael Soto uses “knowledge” in his work and relies on pure science when working with mechanisms for visual perception. Leenhardt also mentions the crucial relationship between the viewer and the work, which the Venezuelan visual artist expresses in exchanges and interactions that give true meaning to his art.


This essay, by Jacques Leenhardt, appeared in the catalogue for Soto 1988, the exhibition held at the Étude I (Belgium) in 1988. The essay addresses the concept of “knowledge” that Leenhardt usually associates with contemporary art. The author philosophically discusses how the Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto uses that “knowledge” in his work as an innovative way to see the world. In his opinion, art has become an expression of “knowledge” rather than “emotion;” that is, knowledge and research are essential components of the latest trends in modern art, especially when they are used to generate unusual semiotic forms. This is an area in which Soto has excelled. Semantics, as applied to cognitive sciences, play a crucial role in his work, leading to the creation of other visual language codes. This Venezuelan artist’s work and thinking have always been closely aligned with science. According to the author, however, science and experimentation are not enough. Over the course of nearly forty years of artistic evolution, Soto has been in the avant-garde, using scientific mechanisms to create certain kinetic (via vibration) or chromatic visual perceptions.     


[To read more about Soto, see in the ICAA digital archive by Alfredo Boulton both “El cinetismo de Soto” (doc. no. 1069749) and “Jesús Soto 1971” (doc. no. 1059661); the essay by Ariel Jiménez “Jesus Soto. Lo visible y lo posible” (doc. no. 1073684); the article by Alejandro Otero “Las estructuras cinéticas de Jesús Soto” (doc. no. 850667); by Carlos Díaz Sosa “Jesús Rafael Soto. La gran pintura es cosa de progreso histórico” (doc. no. 1097076); the article by Guillermo Meneses “Soto” (doc. no. 1080690); the one by various authors titled “Soto: estructuras cinéticas” (doc. no. 1059619); the text by Umbro Apollonio “(Sin título) [in the catalogue for “Vibrations by Soto” produced by The Kootz Gallery 1965]” (doc. no. 1069781); the articles by Roberto Guevara “La energia como realidad” (doc. no. 1102332) and by Vladimir Tismaneanu “La metafísica del espacio en la obra de Soto” (doc. no. 1101524); the interviews by Roberto Guevara “La nueva lectura de la realidad. Una conversación con el maestro Jesús Soto” (doc. no. 1059731), and Claude-Louis Renard “Extractos de entrevistas de Soto [París, 1974]” (doc. no. 1080788); the essay by the French intellectual Gilles Plazy “Soto” (doc. no. 1101556); by the Czech theorist Frank Popper “(Sin título) [Jesús Rafael Soto...]” (doc. no. 1073597); the autobiographical essay by Soto, “Soto habla de Soto” (doc. no. 1080906); and the script for the documentary of the same name, written by Clara Diament Sujo and produced by the filmmaker Ángel Hurtado, “Así nace un mural con Jesús Soto” (doc. no. 1168365)].

Juan Carlos Azpúrua
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Jacques Leenhardt, 1988
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas.