The exhibition Movimientos focuses on the origins of the generation of South American artists who contributed to the notion of kinetics in the plastic arts in Paris in the 1950s and 1960s. This exhibition bears witness to the ties that developed and existed between Latin America and Europe at that time, and underlines the incredible creativity that was the result of the constant toing and froing of artists from one continent to the other.
In the 1950s, some remarkable artists like Lucio Fontana, León Ferrari and Enio Iommi were already very active on the Argentinian artistic scene while the founders of the MADI Movement, Carmelo Arden-Quin and Gyula Kosice had already primed the artistic and intellectual milieu in preparation for this aesthetic revolution as early as their manifesto dating from 1949. These precursors played an essential role in the transmission of the heritage of the European avant-garde to the new and emerging generations of Argentinian and South American artists.
1955 was an important year in the Kinetic Movement as the historic exhibition Le Mouvement was held at the Galerie Denise René in Paris, presenting the works of Victor Vasarely, Yaacov Agam, Pol Bury, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Jesús-Rafael Soto, Robert Jacobsen and Jean Tinguely. That same year, Victor Vasarely published his Yellow Manifesto which outlined his notion of 'plastic kinetics' for the first time. In 1958, Vasarely travelled to Buenos Aires where he was provided the opportunity to exhibit works at the Museo de Bellas Artes.
As a result of this experience, he developed strong ties with numerous Buenos Aires artists who advocated the idea of movement in art, a trend that would later become famously known as Kinetic Art (following the exhibition at the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Zürich in 1960). For example, the founding artists of the G.R.A.V. (Group for Research on Visual Art): Julio Le Parc, Francisco Sobrino and Horacio Garcia Rossi gravitated towards Vasarely and would quickly join him in Paris
in the early 1960s.
Other artists joined the movement in Paris, such as Hugo Demarco, Luis Tomasello and Carlos Cruz-Diez - the latter had followed his good friend Jesús-Rafael Soto from Venezuela to Europe. The transatlantic exchanges would continue and flourish over the years with artists like Antonio Asis, Sergio de Camargo and Rogelio Polesello joining the movement. Kinetic Art culminated in the MoMA exhibition in New York in 1965, which was at once the starting point for a more general movement, known as Op Art.
The aim of this exhibition is to understand the circulation of ideas within the Kinetic Art Movement and reveal, through a selection of its emblematic works, its magnitude within an era of experimentation and discovery in the plastic arts. The movement continues to exert an influence today on certain contemporary artists, allowing it to retain its modernity and pertinence.