At Large  July 31, 2019

8 Mesmerizing Op Art Works from Carlos Cruz-Diez

Flickr/Maryellen McFadden

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Chromatic Induction at Double Frequency. A for Wörn, from Reflections on Color

©2019 CRUZ-DIEZ ART FOUNDATION

Carlos Cruz-Diez

This week the art world lost a pioneer of Op and Kinetic Art in Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, who died at the age of 95 in Paris. His vibrant paintings and installations that shaped a movement and can be found around the world in museums and as public art.

Born in Caracas, as a young artist Cruz-Diez found himself bored by the prevalent Abstract Expressionism of the era. In his search to create something more dynamic, he began adhering strips of plastic to cardboard, creating abstract compositions that gave the impression of movement. Bringing the illusion of three-dimension to the two-dimensional pushed the boundaries of the canvas and how we define painting.

This combination of optical illusion and color theory would become known as Kinetic Art. Cruz-Diez would eventually work on aluminum, and his practice would expand to include massive installations called “Chromosaturations,” using neon lights to flood a space with intense color.
 
Throughout his career, Cruz-Diez immersed audiences in a world of color, inviting us to experience the visual world in a new way. His own interests in the ever-changing qualities of light and color, through his work, are contagious, and help us understand the limitations and boundlessness of our own perceptions.

Here are eight works from the late Carlos Cruz-Diez that celebrate color, from large installations to modest canvases.

Chromatic Induction at Double Frequency. A for Wörn, from  Reflections on Color, 2006
Flickr/Maryellen McFadden

Chromatic Induction at Double Frequency. A for Wörn, from  Reflections on Color, 2006

Spatial Chromointerference, installed at the Buffalo Bayou Cistern
Flickr/hey tiffany!

Spatial Chromointerference, (1974/2018), installed at the Buffalo Bayou Cistern

Simón Bolívar International Airport in Venezuela
Flickr/Neil Acquatella

Simón Bolívar International Airport in Venezuela

Chromatic Induction 63, 1975, from Reflections on Color, 2006
Flickr/Maryellen McFadden

Chromatic Induction 63, 1975, from Reflections on Color, 2006

Dazzle Ship, 2014, Albert Dock, Liverpool, part of the Biennial Celebrations
Flickr/Becca Swift

Dazzle Ship, 2014, Albert Dock, Liverpool, part of the Biennial Celebrations

Physiochromie No. 2051, 1981
Flickr/cea +

Physiochromie No. 2051, 1981

Room within a room  Chromosaturation, 1965. Installation by Carlos Cruz Diez
Flickr/Danny Navarro

Chromosaturation, 1965. Installed at the Hirshhorn, Washington DC, 2012.

Couleur Additive, 2018. Crosswalk on Grand Ave., LA 2017
flickr/rocor

Couleur Additive, 2018, Crosswalk on Grand Ave. at the Broad Museum of Art in Los Angeles

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