Jesús Soto Museum of Modern Art

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Jesús Soto Museum of Modern Art

Coordinates: 8°07′57″N 63°32′14″W / 8.132372°N 63.537243°W / 8.132372; -63.537243

The Jesús Soto Museum of Modern Art (Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto) is a modern art museum in Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela. It is named after the kinetic artist and sculptor Jesús Soto, who was born in Ciudad Bolívar. As well as showcasing a number of Soto's works, the museum includes art by international artists, particularly pieces with movement and dynamics. The architect was Carlos Raúl Villanueva.

Origin of the museum

The Jesús Soto Museum of Modern Art, founded by a decree of the Government of Bolívar State on October 27, 1969, and inaugurated on August 25, 1973, represents the fulfilment of an idea brought forward by Jesús Soto at the end of the 1950s. This idea crystallized several years later when Soto, along with a group of personalities from Ciudad Bolívar´s cultural milieu, submitted a project before the state executive authorities. The primary objective was both to safeguard and to exhibit the collection, comprising works of art of renowned international contemporary artists, gathered under Jesús Soto´s criteria and care during the several decades he lived in Paris. Soto's creations lie within the kinetic branch of Constructivism, which primarily seeks to give the impression or illusion of movement as perceived by the spectator, depending on the position before the art piece. One of Soto's greatest artistic achievements, within his vast and renowned career, are the penetrable spaces, works in which the public integrate spatially to the artistic production.

Museum's collection

The selection of the works of art reflect the spirit of the most representative moments of modern art. The museum has been able to conform a collection of great plastic and historical value, including works from each significant period of Soto's career. This collection, which has grown through time, constitutes the artistic patrimony of the museum. Characterized by an interesting variety of approaches with a rigorous unity, the collection comprises works of artists that are representative of historical vanguards: Jean Arp, Johannes Itten, Kasimir Malevitch, Natalia Gontcharova, Serge Poliakoff, Josef Albers, Sonia Delaunay, Pavel Mansouriff, Henryk Berlewi, Jean Gorin, Alberto Magnelli, Man Ray, and Andy Warhol. Also represented are some artists who, since 1945, formulated new approaches, although conceptually linked to vanguardism of the beginning of the 20th century, these artists are: Max Bill, Lucio Fontana, Carmelo Arden Quin, Berto Lardera, Emile Giglioli, Antonio Calderara, Vjenceslaw Ritcher, and George Rickey. In this group we may find some renown Venezuelan artists such as: Marcel Floris, Gerd Leufert, Alejandro Otero, and Francisco Narváez. Closely linked to the optic and kinetic proposals are: Francisco Salazar, Francois Morellet, Marcelo Morandini, Luis Tomasello, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Getulio Alviani (who has been director of the museum for a few years) and Victor Vasarely,. Artists of the New Realism Movement, included in the Collection are: Christo, Jean Tinguely, Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Arman, and Daniel Spoerri. Other renown artists among the Museum's collection are: Bernard Aubertin, w:it:Gianni Colombo, Gothard Graubner, Adolf Luther, Heinz Mack, Christian Merget and Paul Talman.


Carlos Raúl Villanueva, architect of both the Museum of Fine Arts of Caracas, and the Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas, among other buildings donated the museum project to Ciudad Bolívar, From an architectural standpoint, he conceived it so it would be closely associated to the artistic approach of the collection. The edifice was built in two stages, the first stage emphasizes the value of touring the museum, visually integrating both roofed and open spaces. The exhibition galleries arrenged around a garden of sculptures, are connected by corridors, thus creating different spaces for the spectator. Defined in accordance with the distribution of the works of art, galleries, 1, 2, 3, and 4 house the works of art of Venezuelan and foreign artists represented in the collection. In galleries 5, 6, and 7 (The Cube) the artistic career of Jesús Soto is shown. The second stage, which has preserved Villanueva's design in a balanced manner consists of the entrance hall, the library, the exhibitions hall, administrative offices, and service areas.

  • Information from a free brochure about the museum.

Building Activity

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