This article is of particular interest because it contributes to an understanding of what made Kinetic art—if not the official art of Venezuela—an artistic expression that was aligned with, even parallel to, the country’s progressive aspirations. This is indicative of certain policies advocated by different governments (democratic or not) during the second half of the twentieth century. The anonymous nature of the article makes the point even clearer by presenting it as an opinion held by the media (El Nacional) rather than by an individual.
The article expresses great optimism for Venezuelan modernity, specifically mentioning the hope of becoming a country whose socioeconomic and cultural development will make it the equal of the great nations of Europe and North America. That modernizing aspiration, noted in the article, becomes apparent in the synchrony that exists between Venezuelan artists and international maestros, demonstrated by the proximity of their visual art languages (imbued with a progressive and technological spirit) and by their joint participation in grand exhibitions and architectural projects. The text therefore underscores Soto’s involvement in the second phase of the UNESCO building in Paris, a project whose first phase included “works by (Pablo) Picasso, (Rufino) Tamayo, (Alexander) Calder, and other international artists.” Seen through this nationalist prism, Soto could be considered one of those “international artists” and his native country could be included among the group of developed nations.
The impact of Kinetic art became apparent when famous Pop artists (Warhol, Oldenburg, and Lichtenstein), who had recently embraced the style, exhibited their Kinetic works at Expo ´70 in Osaka. The writer of the article refers to the opinion expressed by critic Barbara Rose, who wrote about the works shown by the above-mentioned artists at the American pavilion at the Japanese event, describing them as true works of art whose construction reflected a thoroughly technical artistic experience.
The article outlines the events that have made Venezuela an important creative center in the field of Constructive and Kinetic art based on the opinions of the critic and gallery owner Clara (Diament) Sujo, who wrote about the architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva’s exploratory projects involving Venezuelan abstract artists collaborating with famous international artists (Antoine Pevsner, Henri Laurens, Fernand Léger, Jean Arp, and Alexander Calder). According to the writer of the article, Caracas has become a key city in the realm of international Constructive and Kinetic art. The article provides a list of the main Venezuelan collections that demonstrate the impact of these movements in the local visual art scene: Jesús Soto’s donation of a collection of Constructive art; the creation of private collections; and numerous exhibitions of works by the world’s major Kinetic artists.