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This newspaper article by Carlos Díaz Sosa is about Jesús Soto—and Alejandro Otero and Víctor Valera—at the XXXIII Biennale di Venezia (1966). It talks about his career, from his early days in Ciudad Bolívar to his recent work in Paris, where he lives. Soto refers to the work he showed at Le mouvement (Paris, 1955), and compares it to Victor Vasarely’s work. He thinks it is important to study art history, and explains his creative process and the theoretical underpinnings of his visual art. He compares the precedence of the Venice event (1896) to the Bienal de São Paulo (1951); he also talks about art criticism and the performance by the Venezuelan group Los Disidentes (Paris, 1950). He vows to create a museum in Ciudad Bolívar, to which he would donate the bulk of his work. 


The article “La Gran Pintura es Cosa de Progreso Histórico” by the Venezuelan journalist Carlos Díaz Sosa about Jesús Rafael Soto includes important historiographic facts. In the first place, this story-interview sheds light on Soto’s cultural environment. It refers to how little-known he was, and to Venezuela’s flawed decision to send three representatives (Soto, Víctor Valera, and Alejandro Otero) to the Biennale di Venezia when Kinetic art was all the rage in international art circles. The article looks back at Soto’s career and provides firsthand bibliographic details about his work. It explains the radical differences between the Kinetic works produced by those involved in the “Manifiesto El Movimiento” (Yaacob Agam, Pol Bury, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Arne Jacobsen, Jean Tinguely, Victor Vasarely, and Soto), which was published for the exhibition of the same name at the Galerie Denise René in Paris, April 6 to 30, 1955. The exhibition acknowledges the great importance of Kinetic art as the leading avant-garde visual style in the mid-1950s; Soto was a major figure in that movement. The article also suggests valuable theories that could be used as the basis for the development of a formal criticism of this work; apparently, a systematic and theoretically based criticism of Venezuelan Kinetic works of art had yet to coalesce. Other more structured, lengthy, and detailed articles appeared after this one, addressing the subjects that were discussed here. See, for example: “Soto habla de Soto” (Luis Navarro, June, 1967, Suplemento Nº 3, Imagen) and “Hasta Soto” (Rafael Pineda, Revista El Minero, Vol. VII, Nº 11, September-October, 1967).


[For other articles about Soto, see in the ICAA digital archive by Alfredo Boulton “El cinetismo de Soto” (doc. no. 1069749); 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); the article by Guillermo Meneses “Soto” (doc. no. 1080690); the one by various authors titled “Soto: estructuras cinéticas” (doc. no. 1059619); the untitled text by Umbro Apollonio [featured in the catalogue for Vibrations by Soto at The Kootz Gallery 1965] (doc. no. 1069781); the article by Roberto Guevara “La energía como realidad” (doc. no. 1102332); by Vladimir Tismaneanu “La metafísica del espacio en la obra de Soto” (doc. no. 1101524); Roberto Guevara’s interview “La nueva lectura de la realidad. Una conversación con el maestro Jesús Soto” (doc. no. 1059731); the article by Alfredo Boulton “Jesús Soto 1971” (doc. no. 1059661); the essay by Gladys Yunes “Soto: las imágenes de la física” (doc. no. 1059815); the interview conducted by Claude-Louis Renard “Extractos de entrevistas de Soto [París, 1974]” (doc. no. 1080788); the essay by the French philosopher Jacques Leenhardt “Soto” (doc. no. 1073536); the essay by Gilles Plazy “Soto” (doc. no. 1101556); the untitled review by Frank Popper “[Jesús Rafael Soto...]” (doc. no. 1073597); Soto’s autobiographical essay, “Soto habla de Soto” (doc. no. 1080906); and the documentary script by the same name, written by Clara Diament Sujo and produced by the cinematographer Ángel Hurtado, “Así nace un mural con Jesús Soto” (doc. no. 1168365)].

Gladys Yunes
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Hemeroteca - Mapoteca Carlos Felice Cardot. Academia Nacional de la Historia. Palacio de Las Academias. Av. Universidad, Esquinas San Francisco, Caracas.