Jesús Rafael Soto and Mungo Thomson

Jesús Rafael Soto and Mungo Thomson

GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo

Jesús Rafael Soto, Sphère Concorde, 1996
nylon and wood, Collection Christophe Soto
Photo Silvina Sineiro, Courtesy Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires, 2006

October 6, 2006

curated by Tatiana Cuevas and Paola Santoscoy

curated by Alessandro Rabottini

13 OCTOBER 2006-25 FEBRUARY 2007

Opening: THURSDAY, 12 OCTOBER 2006,
at 6.30 pm

GAMeC Galleria dArte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo
Via S. Tomaso, 53
24121 Bergamo (Italy)

This exhibition at GAMeC Galleria dArte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo presents over fifty works by the Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto (1923 2005), one of the pioneers and great exponents of Kinetic Art. Organised by the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City, this exhibition comes to Italy after being shown in Mexico and at Fundación Proa in Buenos Aires. The show was originally conceived as a selection of 27 representative works of the artists aesthetic investigations from the 1950s until the late 1990s, and has now been increased with a group of significant works as a result of GAMeCs spatial characteristics.

Introducing movement into the pictorial plane was the driving force behind the aesthetic investigation that Jesús Rafael Soto initiated in the early 1950s and continued throughout his career. The pieces featured in this exhibition represent the outcome of a process of experimentation that led him to expand two-dimensional surfaces into three-dimensional space in order to broaden the possibilities of interaction with the viewer, who would thus form part of a new visual situation. The selection of works in this exhibition follows two parallel lines in Sotos work. The first corresponds to his relationship with music through the abstraction of chromatic units used as compositional elements; the second involves the alteration of the everyday experience of space through confrontation with these works.

A walk through this exhibition beginning with Penetrable BBL bleu (1999) and the visitors literal immersion within the work allows the viewer to understand the way in which, over the course of five decades, Soto tried to answer the questions he had posed in the late 1940s while he was still an art student in Caracas. His interest in abstraction and purity of form issues that had been explored decades earlier by Cubism, Constructivism and Suprematism led Soto to develop a kinetic language structured by the superimposition of compositional elements capable of lending optical movement to the pictorial plane.

The works presented in this exhibition are clear examples of a process in which no definitive solutions are reached, and whose continuity allows the viewer to understand Sotos work from a perspective that avoids mere chronological linearity. By emphasising the relationship between works that deal with similar investigations and which were nevertheless produced several decades apart one can identify the artists return to his original questions, in a search that continually allowed him to incorporate new alternatives into a vision in motion.

Accompanying the exhibition is a bilingual catalogue, published by Silvana Editoriale, with texts by Tatiana Cuevas and Paola Santoscoy, and an interview with the artist by Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Jesús Rafael Soto. Visione in movimento is supported by the contribution of Tenaris and Ternium, as main sponsors, and by Fondazione della Comunità Bergamasca and Fondazione ASM.
The exhibition has been organised with the support of Fundación Olga y Rufino Tamayo A.C.

Negative Space Variations, the first solo show at a public institution in Italy by the American artist Mungo Thomson, opens on the same occasion. The exhibition is part of the Eldorado series, which GAMeC dedicates to the most exciting international emerging artists.
Negative Space Variations, produced specifically for GAMeC, consists of several environmental installations and a magazine-like artists book. Several wall-sized photographic murals, installed in incidental spaces around the museum, depict inverted astronomical photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope: that is, images of outer space in negative. An artists book called Negative Space, which simulates the look and feel of an issue of National Geographic, collects these images in a single volume. In a sound installation and reading room, visitors can read the magazine accompanied by a recording of the artist playing an abstract, atmospheric score on wineglasses.

Thomsons is an artistic practice that uses a broad array of media to recount the pauses, silences, digressions and suppressions of contemporary culture. Made with simple and subtle reversals of cultural artefacts and using materials close at hand, this exhibition concentrates on themes of human knowledge and our relationship with the void, but above all on the limits of this relationship vis-à-vis technology, the trivialisation of spirituality, and the commercialised dimension of the imagination.

Thomsons book Negative Space was designed by the artist in collaboration with Purtill Family Business and edited by Christoph Keller Editions, and will be published and distributed by JRP|Ringier, Zurich.

From the opening day of the exhibition it will be possible to read a conversation between Mungo Thomson, Alessandro Rabottini, curator at GAMeC, and Dan Cameron, Senior Curator at The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, at the museum website

The exhibition is supported by the contribution of Amitié Sans Frontières.
We are especially grateful to the Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles.
Technical partners: GraficheIcona and Zanotta

Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am7 pm
Thursday: 10 am10 pm
Closed Monday

For information:
GAMeC – Galleria dArte Moderna e Contemporanea
Via San Tomaso, 53
24121 Bergamo
tel. 39 035 399528 / fax 39 035 236962

Press Office
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tel. 39 02 433403


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October 6, 2006

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