On Wednesday, March 7th in Caracas, we launched the book titled Jesus Soto in conversation with Ariel Jiménez – the fourth and latest title of the CONVERSACIONES/CONVERSATIONS bilingual books series published by the Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros [CPPC]. This book presents over 30 years of friendship and interactions between Jesús Soto (Venezuela, 1923-2005), one of the most important Latin American artists of the 20th century and one of the main exponents of Kinetic and Op Art, and art historian Ariel Jiménez.
The event itself took place at the Sala Experimental Centro Cultural Chacao and featured experts, such as Rafael Castillo Zapata, talking about Soto’s work and legacy as well as a short video featuring excerpts from one of the last filmed interviews Soto gave to our television company, Venevision.
We also had the great honor of being accompanied by Sofia Imber -pioneering, philanthropist, journalists and collector-, to whom we owe the origins of our collection and our cultural commitment to the continent. Sofia, as Ariel mentioned during his presentation, was also the person who named him Maestro Soto just before going on his first trip to Paris when he was 18 years old. It was thanks to her that the first encounter between Ariel and Jesus was possible, resulting in a great friendship.
The CONVERSACIONES/CONVERSATIONS series is a very exciting publications project that is rapidly gaining recognition in academic circles and also in the Latin American and international art scene. The idea behind the series is to match up an influential artist with an intellectual so that they can have a dialogue, or a conversation (hence the title) about their work and career. The format of the book is just that, a curated conversation, a dialogue supplemented by images and biographical items. The other three titles we have published are: Carlos Cruz-Diez in conversation with/en conversación con Ariel Jiménez, Tomás Maldonado in conversation with/en conversación con María Amalia García and Jac Leirner in conversation with/en conversación con Adele Nelson.
You can find background information on the series, upcoming titles, and a video explaining the concept of the project if by following this link https://www.coleccioncisneros.org/category/publications/new-releases/.
My family has always fervently believed in building bridges globally through education, cultural initiatives, and the media. This series is fulfilling the mission of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros by increasing the understanding and awareness of Latin American contributions to the history of art and ideas, and in the family spirit of building bridges, we want to ensure that the information is accessible to as many people as possible worldwide. The printed book, although beautiful, can only travel so far. This is why we are soon going to launch the ground breaking e-book version of the series towards the end of this year. True to the Cisneros innovative media impetus, these books will be unlike any others available in the field today. They will be published using the latest cross-platform technology so they will be available on devices universally. The content will not only bring the books to life with original interviews, images, video and audio recordings, but they will offer scholars and aficionados interested in the featured artists and movements, access to key historical documents, recordings and resources which are not readily available to the general public.
It was a real pleasure to present this book in Centro Cultural Chacao, a model institution in our country.