“The works I create in urban environments and habitat are conceived as artistic statements generated in time and space, creating unforeseen “situations” and “chromatic events” in constant mutation that change the dialectic between the viewer and the work. There is no “referential discourse” in my works because they take a different approach, substituting real time and place for referred or transposed time. They are supports for an evolving, changing event.
They are “realities” and “autonomous situations.” “Realities” because the effects they cause develop in time and space. “Autonomous” because they do not depend on the anecdotal content that viewers are accustomed to seeing in a painting. My works suggest an alternative way of understanding. Viewers discover that they can create or destroy color through their own means of perception. They see “color appearing”—visible and then invisible before their own eyes.”
With an outstanding production in South America, the United States and Europe since the 1950s, Carlos Cruz-Diez is considered as one of the main figures of kinetic and optic art.
Carlos Cruz Diez (Caracas, 1923) is the father of a new cognitive approach to color: he notably focused on a dissociation between form and color “I changed the colored plane into a succession of parallel colored lines laid out vertically”; “chromatic event modules” that materializes a color “constantly appearing and disappearing over time” as he explains. Based on this observation, he developed his work through several theories: Couleur Additive (1959), Induction Chromatique (1963), Physichromie (1986) and Chromosaturation to only name a few. Internationally renowned, Carlos Cruz-Diez exhibited his work at the MoMA in New York during “The Responsive Eye’s” exhibition in 1965, in the Venezuelan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1970, as well as at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), which has shown an extensive retrospective of his work in 2011.
But Carlos Cruz-Diez’s work isn’t just made for museums. In July 2016, the artist, interviewed by Olivier Namias for Jean Nouvel’s L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui explains how his artistic commitment has always prompted him to intervene directly into the city: “The streets and architecture appeared to me as the best way to communicate art and to integrate it into society”. Carlos Cruz-Diez’s artistic approach shows him as a humanist, conscious of an art that is open to all, prompting him to work with architects and engineers in order to integrate his work in office spaces, public spaces, or passageways.