Jesus Rafael Soto
(Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela, 1923 - 2005, Paris, France)
Medium and Support:
Gift of Steven Sohacki through the Martin S. Ackerman Foundation
Location: Not currently on view
Jesús Rafael Soto’s constructions feature the simplified forms and colors of 20th-century abstract artists, but also incorporate principles of motion and illusion. In this work, metal rods of yellow and white hang at varying lengths on either side of the rectangular base and over a translucent lined backdrop. The edges of the rods might seem to vibrate where they intersect with the lines etched into the plastic base. This is a moiré effect, an optical occurrence that appears when two like patterns—such as black and white lines or dots—are superimposed on one another but slightly off register, creating the illusion of a third pattern that does not exist.
This is the second in a series of nine pieces collectively titled Jai-Alai, the name of a Spanish court game involving a small ball and a long curved wicker basket attached to the player’s hand. The title might also refer to the viewer’s rapid eye movement, while watching the swift movements of players in a Jai-Alai match or looking at a work of kinetic art.
[Label copy from Seeing in Color and Black and White, 2018]