55 x 60 cm
Screenprint on paper
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by the artist
Annual members’ gift, Stiftung für konstruktive und konkrete Kunst, 1989
Carlos Cruz-Diez (born 1923 in Caracas, Venezuela) works with artistic means from Op Art and Kinetic Art and is a great theorist of color. He became famous primarily for his “Physichromies,” which are color reliefs made of different materials. These reliefs create optical effects that change when beholders look at the picture from different perspectives. In his “Physichromies,” Cruz-Diez also generates a synthesis between a solid façade structure and a permeable façade made of windows. Inspired by the artistic developments of modernism in Europe and new kinetic techniques, Cruz-Diez developed his own artistic approaches, which also overlap with his work as a graphic designer and illustrator. In the 1950s, he began to investigate the interferences and contrasts of color as well as the optical effects and the perception of colors and forms.
In the 1960s, Cruz-Diez began experimenting with colored light, variable light projections, and environments. These led to larger color structures in the 1970s that are set within architectural and urban contexts and sometimes display a chromatic range. Expanding on the idea of his early Chromostructures, he created geometric landscape structures that are planted according to a color scheme. As such, they emphasize the object quality of art and enable a multi-perspective and dynamic perception. One such example of this is his “Laberinto Cromovegetal” (1994) at the Simón Bolívar University in Caracas.
Cruz-Diez’s art is characterized by an autonomy of color. Depending on the beholder’s point of view, one color appears more prominent, thus creating a sense of depth. Whenever the viewer changes their perspective, another color comes to the fore. The picture thus develops an unusual dynamic in which lines either dissolve or merge with others to form coherent color fields. This creates the impression of floating forms of color and constant color changes, especially in works from the series “Couleur additive,” “Physichromie,” and “Chromointerferences” after 2000. The artist achieved these different effects by creating vertical bars that protrude out of the pictorial plane, for example, or by attaching a striped glass pane to the front of the picture. Cruz-Diez’s investigations translate into spaces that we can experience not only through visual perception and interaction, but through acoustic and tactile stimuli as well.
Dominique von Burg