A sense of discovery awaits visitors to Grey Art Gallery's Jesús Soto exhibition. Not only because the 40-year-old paintings look so contemporary, but because the show is Soto's first retrospective in New York since 1974. The Venezuelan-born artist's abstract paintings combine elements of mid-century modernism, bold color blocks, and strong lines in careful balance with material experimentation. He painted on Plexiglas, nylon, and cloth in three-dimensional layers that reach out from the wall. The show highlights Soto's years in France, from his quieter experiments with Op art to his friendships with Jean Tinguely, maker of combustible, kinetic assemblages, and Yves Klein, famed for his monochromes. Soto's work in Paris developed between these two extremes—eye-catching patterns painted with a subtle palette and interactivity. The viewer needs to move around many of the works to fully experience them.
"Soto: Paris and Beyond, 1950-1970," Grey Art Gallery, New York University, through March 31, 2012;
Click here to see the gallery for "French Connection."