Page 13 - Studio International - January 1966
P. 13

Three views of Infinite Vibration 1965
        Suspended nylon construction 10 x 10 in.
        Collection: David Medalla, London

                                As he moves sideways the two grids tend to 'slide' in   as the spectator moves, however slightly) by the
                                front of the eye, and the alteration is sufficient to leave   regular grid against which they stand out. From now on
                                an impression on the retina.                       the whole of the artist's work—the elegance, purity
                                 However, the decisive revolution took place in 1955   and sobriety of which are reminiscent of Gabo, in spite
                                in the shape of a final transition from optical art—in   of the difference in vocabulary—is devoted to a
                                which the composition can be grasped instantaneously   questioning of normal concepts of matter. He has now
                                without movement—to real, kinetic art in which     reached a peak in expressing the molecular explosion
                                movement, and consequently duration, are directly   of solids, the dematerialisation of volumes; intuitively
                                involved and form a fundamental constituent dimension   he has come close to the concepts of modern physics.
                                of the work. In April, Soto saw Marcel Duchamp's    There now appears in the work of Soto—especially in
                                'optical machine', a convex form against which a spiral   his  Ecritures (Writings)  in which great, bent stalks,
                                shape—driven by a motor—rotates. He decided to     immaterial and irregular in outline, merge into his black
                                make the composition move without a motor, and in   and white grids—a principle which was already latent
                                the same year exhibited at Denise Rene's his first   in his earlier compositions but which takes on growing
                                'kinetic vibration' : two spirals—one of them of   importance after 1963 until it is now very nearly the
                                transparent plexiglass—are superimposed and separated   sole centre of interest of the artist: the creation of
                                by about 15 centimetres. When the viewer moves  something which the Venezuelan critic Guillermo
                                sideways, the lines join and separate turn by turn, the   Meneses defined as 'imaginary space.'
                                masses link and draw apart. This is a work of basic   Paul Klee habitually confronted in his paintings
                                importance in which two fundamental problems are   different perspectives and contradictory patterns of
                                resolved at one and the same time: 1, the problem of   lines in order to represent on the flat surface of his
                                movement—as I said earlier, time is added to the three   composition an idea of vertiginous, baffling space,
                                plastic dimensions and the work cannot be interpreted   beyond the bounds of logical comprehension, over
                                without the concept of duration ; 2, the problem of   which the eye wandered as in a dream, unable to find
                                destruction of form, of dilution of matter, since as the   the landmarks of real life. However, this deliberate
                                spectator moves the volumes recorded by the artist   destruction of spatial order was communicated to us
                                alter incessantly.                                through the intermediary of a sheet of paper or canvas
                                 This is the point of departure for all of Soto's later  which itself fitted in perfectly well with our normal
                                work; there is from now on a growing tendency to   idea of space. With our feet firmly on the ground in a
                                lessen the impact of matter and disintegrate forms. In   gallery or apartment we looked at the translation, on a
                                1957 he completed the development of the plastic  surface which fitted in perfectly well with our normal,
                                system which becomes a permanent feature of his  spatial universe, of a malaise or hallucination imagin-
                                artistic vocabulary : a panel covered with small, regular   atively experienced by the artist, which he was able
                                black and white lines in front of which are fixed—at a   to set out through his paintings in everyday spatial
                                distance of a few centimetres—wires, metal bars,   reality—a reality which was never questioned, since
                                squares of different colours, which are broken up  the artist's plastic compositions fell within the reassur-
                                optically (according to a pattern which differs as soon   ing framework of fiction.
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