Carlos Cruz-Diez

Carlos Cruz-Diez

Americas Society

Carlos Cruz-Diez,
Maze of Chromosaturation and Chromatic Walkway, 1969. Public Intervention, Odeón Métro Station, Paris. Image courtesy of the Atelier Cruz-Diez, Paris.

September 2, 2008

Carlos Cruz-Diez:
(In)formed by Color

Guest Curator: Estrellita B. Brodsky,
Assistant Curator: Isabela Villanueva
September 10 – December 13, 2008

680 Park Avenue at 68th Street
New York, NY 10065
T: 212.249.8950

Americas Society will present Carlos Cruz-Diez’s first solo show in a major United States cultural institution. Focusing on the relationship between color and perception, the exhibition seeks to correct the limited understanding and visibility of Cruz-Diez, one of Latin America’s Kinetic art masters.

(In) formed by Color: Carlos Cruz-Diez will feature Cromosaturación, a site-specific environment designed by the artist for the Americas Society’s gallery. Initially conceived of in 1965, this groundbreaking artwork consists of three separate light-infused color chambers of red, green and blue. The real content of the work is the visitor’s experience of walking through the shifting chromatic space and interacting over time to his or her own physical movement. In addition to the Cromosaturación, the exhibition will include 20 of Cruz-Diez’ early Fisicromías, a series of changeable chromatic structures that he initiated in 1959. These offer insight into the thinking process behind the artist’s exploration of the liberating, participatory experience of color projected into space. The Fisicromías illustrate Cruz-Diez’s dynamic chromatic experimentation in which he used parallel strips of raised cardboard or wood on striped backgrounds to demonstrate the effects of additive color. The artist’s continued exploration of the additive and reflective effects of shifting compositions culminates in the 1970 large-scale wall piece presented at the Venezuelan pavilion for the XXV Venice Biennale, Physicromie no. 500 (1970). In all these works different material elements and color schemes combine to produce a variable sensation depending on the spectator’s position and the angle at which the light—natural or artificial—of the environment is reflected.

In contrast to well known artists such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newmann, and James Turrell, who offered color as a contemplative experience, Cruz-Diez demands the viewer’s involvement through color as an autonomous, constantly shifting spatial event. Barely known in the United States, Cruz-Diez is considered a pioneer in the use of color as a participatory tool as well as a visionary who pushed the boundaries of art towards everyday life.

A fully illustrated publication will accompany the exhibition, including contributions by Alexander Alberro, Nuit Banai, Mariela Brazon, Estrellita Brodsky, Gabriela Rangel, and Isabela Villanueva. The catalogue will be available in November 2008.

The exhibition will be an occasion not only for the audience to get to know the work of one of Venezuela’s most celebrated artists, but also will provide an opportunity for challenging public discussions about Kinetic and participatory art. The following free public programs will accompany the exhibition:

Conversation with the artist
Wednesday September 10, 6:30 p.m.
Moderator: Gabriela Rangel (Director, Visual Arts Americas Society)
Speakers: Carlos Brillembourg (Architect), Carlos Cruz-Diez (Artist), Estrellita Brodsky (Guest Curator), Tahia Rivero (Curator, Colección Mercantil), Isabela Villanueva (Assistant Curator).

New Mythologies: Color as a Participatory Tool
Thursday October 2, 6:30 p.m.
Moderator: Edward Sullivan (Dean of Humanities, New York University)
Speakers: Tanya Barson (Curator, Tate Modern), Estrellita Brodsky (Guest Curator), Ariel Jiménez (Curator, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros), Arnauld Pierre (Art Historian).

Perceptual Transformations
Tuesday October 14, 6:30 p.m.
Moderator: Edward Sullivan (Dean of Humanities, New York University)
Speakers: Nuit Banai (Art Historian), Marisa Carrasco (Chair of Psychology, New York University), Pedro Reyes (Artist).

Americas Society gratefully acknowledges the following donors for their generous support of the exhibition, Carlos Cruz-Diez: (In)formed by Color, and related public programs: Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Luis Alfonso and Maria Graciela Oberto; Mercantil; Stelac Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; Luis Benshimol; Clarissa Alcock Bronfman; Chevron; Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros; Fundación Eugenio Mendoza; Leonor Giménez Pocaterra de Mendoza; Sotheby’s; Alberto Vollmer Foundation; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Venezuelan American Endowment for the Arts; PINTA Art, LLC; and Tiqui Atencio Demirdjian.

The listed events are free, open to the public and will take place at Americas Society.
We are located at 680 Park Avenue at 68th Street, in New York City.
Reservations are mandatory, so please RSVP to:
(212) 277-8359 or

For more information, visit If you have questions or comments, please email us at

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