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Jesús Rafael Soto
(Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela, 1923 – 2005, Paris, France)
Jesús Rafael Soto (b. 1923, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela; d. 2005, Paris, France) studied at the Escuela de artes plásticas in Caracas from 1942 to 1947 and then served as director of the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Maracaibo, Venezuela, until 1950, at which time he moved to Paris, France. Having started out as an illusionistic painter, in the 1950s Soto began making linear, kinetic constructions using industrial and synthetic materials such as nylon, Perspex, steel, and industrial paint. In 1955 he participated in "Le Mouvement" (The Movement) at Galerie Denise René, the exhibition that effectively launched kinetic art. Soto’s sculptures often play with the juxtaposition of solid and void, deliberately unsettling the act of viewing by blurring the distinction between reality and illusion.