Sunday, November 04, 2012

Carlos Cruz-Diez

Panama -2012 - 800 x 150 cm

A repost of back in September 2012.

Carlos Cruz-Diez's Op pops at you with wild visual effects. Said to be a Venezuelan kinetic artist, his paintings seem to move when you approach them and you get a powerful effect on your eyes when you walk past the works. So, it came as no surprise that Cruz-Diez worked with Josef Albers. The interaction of color instantly made me think of Albers' work. However, Cruz-Diez diverged a great deal along the way, and became a master artist in his own right.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston had a retrospective of Cruz-Diez last year that would have blown your mind. So, I am excited about Sicardi Gallery's upcoming show of his work. At age 89, he is making amazing work that is vibrant and vibrating. The work "Inducción Cromática Sicardi B Ed. 1/3," uses lines of black, blue, orange, and green to imply two arrows pointing from left to right, or maybe it is one large arrow. It can be really quite frustrating to pin down shapes in his work sometimes. In “Physichromie 1762,” I keep trying to count the rectangles and fully break down all the uses of colors, but I find myself getting distracted again and again to the point that I just stand back and enjoy it.

Cruz-Diez uses the word Physichromie in some of his titles. This word describes the need for the viewer to move to see the full effects of the painting; also the lighting, time of day, and your distance make a significant difference in how the piece is perceived. I can image these works as complex machines that are in motion and working when you are moving and observing their lines and patterns interacting, but when you are still, the machine stops with a vibrating hum that tells you the visual energy can rest but never fully stop.

Carlos Crus-Diez will have his work up on September 8th for the opening and the show runs through November 3rd. I applaud the people over at Sicardi Gallery for opening the art gallery season with such a spectacularly talented and important artist. I have always wanted to write about an artist with a massive Wikipedia entry, which Cruz-Diez has, because he has done so much. But if you really want to see the depth and breadth of work, check out the Cruz-Diez Foundation, located here in Houston.

For more images visit


HJ BOTT said...

A stunning review of a stunning exhibition.

Todd Camplin said...

I make my students read about Carlos Cruz-Diez, because his work is so amazing. I barely scratched the surface in describing all the work there.