Carlos Cruz-Diez

BOMB Magazine- Estrellita B. Brodsky

“The Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez has described color as “not simply the color of things or the color of form [but rather] an evolving situation, a reality which acts on the human being with the same intensity as cold, heat, and sound.” Cruz-Diez presents color as an experience in itself—a pure phenomenon of light that can be perceived without interpretation or preexisting cultural knowledge. By projecting color into space, the artist explores the sensory possibilities of its direct interaction with the viewer. The viewer, instead of merely looking at the work of art, becomes a participant in a phenomenological event. […]

By way of experiencing color’s intense immediacy as light rather than pigment, the viewer’s eye is freed from the burden of interpreting representational forms that are preordained by class or political messages. Exploring the infinitely changing effects of additive, reflective, and subtractive color, Cruz-Diez has ever since used color to challenge the traditional relationships between artist, viewer, and the perception of art. In 1969, Cruz-Diez installed 22 electrically lit cabins composed of red, blue, and green Plexiglas walls grouped into four separate maze-like structures at the subway entrance of the Place de l’Odéon in Paris, his adopted home city. These color-infused rooms—called Chromosaturations—are a culmination of the artist’s desire to project color into space as a participatory event; they literally saturate the viewer’s environment.”

Estrellita B. Brodsky, Carlos Cruz-Diez, BOMB Magazine, 2010

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