The Venezuelan Master Carlos Cruz-Diez
“Art is a complex structure of communication, expression, discovery, invention.”
Born in Caracas, Carlos Cruz-Diez first studied art at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas from 1940 to 1945. While studying there, he participated in a lively discussion group which included artists Jesús-Rafael Soto and Alejandro Otero, key figures of the Venezuelan kinetic art movement. He was also influenced by his study of impressionism, as it applied to experiments with color. In his earliest work, Cruz-Diez painted figurative canvases intended to reflect and comment upon social issues. In 1954, influenced by his study of the Bauhaus and the European avant-garde, Cruz-Diez created his first abstract and interactive projects. A year later, he began a series of Objetos rítmicos móviles that consisted of multicolored, movable figures made from wood and, in 1957, he began experimenting with colored light.
His first Physichromie--translated as "physical color" these works explore the physical dimension of color--was made in 1959. The following year, Cruz-Diez and his family moved to Paris, where he met Argentine artist Luis Tomasello, and members of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel, and he quickly became an important member of the artistic communities there. In 1971, Cruz-Diez established his workshop on the rue Pierre Sémard, in a former Belle Epoque-era butcher’s shop. From that workshop, where he continues to work, he pursued his explorations of color and light with Physichromies, Chromosaturations,Chromo-interference Environments, and large-scale public projects, all of which were developed as investigations into visual and perceptual experiences of color. The artist describes his Chromosaturation series as the exploration of an often-unnoticed reality: “That reality (which I consider visible) leads us along other paths, both perceptive and sensory, to parallel ideas of beauty and sublimation.” Cruz-Diez is internationally considered a master artist of the 20 and 21 centuries for his contributions to the theory and practice of color.