Opto Kineticism and The New Tendency. Part 2: Soto and After

I wanted to share some info on artist Jesús Rafael Soto. In my opinion, Soto is one of the better artists in this genre (the New Tendency/Opto Kineticism) and his work is a particularly strong example of how Minimalist ideas also bled into Opto Kineticism during this period. To See Soto’s Works, Click HERE (http://www.jr-soto.com/fset_sonoeuvre_uk.html)

Soto’s installation Blue Penetrable was recent exhibited in the “SupraSensorial” show at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC that featured several South American artists.  This pic does not do this piece justice!  The optical effects are amazing when you are walking through the large field/forest of hanging blue cords.  As you walk through the cords, they play on your sense of optical and spatial perspective. Also, modulating densities in the color field seem to appear, but only if you are inside this forest of blue: ie. the field of blue seems denser/darker as you look far away.  Here a link to the Exhibition page on Soto: http://www.hirshhorn.si.edu/collection/current-exhibitions/#collection=jesus-rafael-soto

Jesús Rafael Soto, “Blue Penetrable,” recreated in 2012 at the Hirshhorn Museum

Also, here’s a PodCast describing Soto’s work: Hirshhorn PodCast on Soto.  (Unfortunately and annoyingly, it freezes and then looses it’s place, so you have to be mindful of the counter to reset it, if you want to hear it from your last stop.  Sorry!  Also, you might want to start @ 1:00 minute into the talk, so you can skip the opening niceties.)

Importantly, the New Tendency and Opto Kineticism still influence artists today. Note this work from last year’s Ars Electronica – the festival in Linz that was mentioned in class –  this installation is similar to the “walk-in” environment of Soto’s Blue piece: Rejane Cantoni and Leonardo Crescenti’s Tunnel, 2010. (Notably, it was commissioned for the exhibition Tekhne in San Paulo, Brazil.) Check out the Project at: http://prix2011.aec.at/winner/1413/

“Tunnel” 2010. Shown at Ars Electronica.

From the Ars Electronica website description: “Numerous users can enter and interact with the machine simultaneously… As an example of interaction: you enter the Tunnel and stand at the center. From this perspective, the aligned porticos fuse and, in your perception, they form walls.”   This definitely sounds similar to Soto’s piece above.

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