Categories: Art

Carlos Cruz-Diez, the pioneer of Optical Art in Latin America

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

The artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, one of the pioneers of Op and Kinetic Art saw more than a pigment in color

Carlos Cruz-Diez is one of the greatest pioneers of Optical and Kinetic Art in Latin America. He was a French-Venezuelan artist born in the city of Caracas in 1923. He lived and worked in Paris from 1960 until his death last July 2019.

Courtesy: EFE

Furthermore, he is regarded as one of the fathers of Kinetic art and Op-art, a trend that “raises awareness of the instability of what is real.” Hence, this type of art focuses on the use of color effects and graphics, aiming to create a sense of movement on a two-dimensional surface. In addition, he was also one of the most innovative artists since he used elements such as color to create original visual experiences.

Physichromie 1606 | Courtesy: Carlos Cruz-Diez website
Courtesy: Vanguardia.com.mx

Color, more than a pigment

Thus, through his artworks, he opened a dialogue about perception. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that in the artworks created under this artistic movement, the spectator’s viewpoint is as important as the piece itself. Hence, by staring at the artwork, you will be able to perceive the movement and the color ends up becoming an autonomous reality. Moreover, he is undoubtedly one of the great thinkers and color researchers of the twentieth century in Europe and Latin America.

Physichromie 1619 | Courtesy: Artist’s website
Physichromie 1619 | Courtesy: Artist’s website

“The plastic discourse of Carlos Cruz-Diez gravitates around the chromatic phenomenon conceived as an autonomous reality that evolves in space and time, without the help of form or support, in a continuous present.”

Furthermore, Cruz-Diez studied the way color is conceived as an autonomous reality. As well as the way it develops in real-time and space without the need for support tools.

In addition to the creation of his artworks, he also devoted his life to artistic distribution. Moreover, he served as president of the Foundation of the Museum of Stamping and Design “Carlos Cruz-Diez” in Venezuela. In addition, his work in education, the arts, and literature in his native Venezuela was recognized with the Order of Andrés Bello.

Couleur Additive implemented in spaces
Couleur Additive implemented in spaces
Couleur Additive Courtesy: Carlos Cruz-Diez Web

His art remains in force in important venues

Moreover, the artist left a great legacy that is exhibited in various spaces around the world permanently. For example, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York; the Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne. Additionally, two venues in the city which was very dear to his heart and where he created much of his work: the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Centre Pompidou. In addition, several retrospectives were held in 2019 and 2020 in museums and galleries in Germany and the United States.

Artist’s pieces at the University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC), UNAM in Mexico City Courtesy: MUAC
Artist’s pieces at the University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC), UNAM in Mexico City Courtesy: MUAC
University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC), UNAM in Mexico City | Courtesy: MUAC
University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC), UNAM in Mexico City | Courtesy: MUAC

Lastly, Carlos Cruz-Diez continues to inspire artists from all over the world and is a great inspiration to Felipe Pantone. The Argentine-Spanish artist has stated on several occasions that Cruz has been one of the benchmarks he had since the beginning of his career.

To learn more about the artist’s work, go to his website.

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Karla Mariana Huerta

México, 1992. Viajera espacial y mental. Cazadora de cielos profundos. Escribo.

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