In the 1950s and 1960s, several Latin American artists settled in Paris, where they became key players in the movement of kinetic and op art. One such artist was the Venezuelan Jesús Rafael Soto, whose projects directly engaged the viewers’ participation. This is the case of Penetrable, a long-term loan from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, installed on LACMA’s plaza.
As the work’s title implies, the architecturally scaled structure is intended to be pierced both optically and physically by the viewer. This interactive aspect sets it apart from many works presented within museum settings, in which objects are not meant to be touched. The piece is made of basic industrial materials, the bulk of it comprised of yellow plastic hoses that are suspended from a simple steel grid.