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Carlos Cruz-Diez: (In)formed by Color

September 10, 2008 to December 13, 2008

 

Guest Curator: Estrellita Brodsky
Assistant Curator: Isabella Villanueva

In the fall of 2008, Americas Society presented Carlos Cruz-Diez’s first solo show in a major U.S. cultural institution. Focusing on the relationship between color and perception, the exhibition will increase Cruz-Diez's visibility and appreciation in the United States, one of Latin America’s Kinetic Art masters.

Carlos Cruz-Diez: (In)formed by Color will feature Cromosaturación, a site-specific environment designed by the artist for 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 true content of the work involves the visitor walking into, through, and around the shifting chromatic space, and its interaction over time with his or her own physical movement. The exhibition will also present 20 of Cruz-Diez’ early Fisicromías, a series of changeable chromatic structures produced from 1959 onward. These will offer insight into the thinking process behind the artist’s exploration of the liberating, participatory experience of color as a physical presence.

Through his work, Cruz-Diez wishes to engage the viewer in a direct chromatic experience outside traditional cultural conventions, empowering the spectator in the active creation of the piece’s meaning. 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 participation. 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.

Americas Society’s Visual Arts department is committed to the development and presentation of programming that explores the diverse artistic traditions of Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean. As part of an overall institutional effort to redefine and revitalize our historical mission, the Visual Arts department has embarked upon a programmatic re-consideration to present, disseminate and study the works of outstanding artists from throughout the Americas. Recognized for its leadership role in presenting innovative exhibitions and works by artists such as Marta Minujin (1968), Gego (1969), Juan Downey (1975), César Paternosto (1981), Lygia Pape (2001), Allora and Calzadilla’s (2003), Paula Trope (2007), Americas Society is the gateway to bring the outstanding works by Carlos Cruz-Diez to New York.



A major publication including essays by Nuit Banai, Mariela Brazón, Estrellita Brodsky, Gabriela Rangel, Isabela Villanueva, and an interview with the artist by Alexander Alberro was published in November 2008. Purchase a copy here.

Americas Society gratefully acknowledges the following donors for their generous support of Carlos Cruz Diez: (In)formed by Color and accompanying 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.

Additional in-kind support has been provided by: Art Nexus; Arte al Día International; Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud; Gobierno Bolivariano de Venezuela – Ministerio del Poder Popular para La Cultura – Fundación Museos Nacionales; Pablo Pulido Mendoza; Mexican Cultural Institute of New York; Sicardi Gallery; and Terrazas de los Andes.

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