‘Carlos Cruz-Diez: Mastering Colour’
Le French May Reception
11.05 | 6 – 8:30 pm
24 April 2017 – HONG KONG: Puerta Roja is proud to present a special programme of events as an official participant in Le French May 2017. The gallery’s blockbuster exhibition Carlos Cruz-Diez: Mastering Colour – the first solo gallery exhibition in Hong Kong by the Franco-Venezuelan artist – is ongoing until 25 May and will be accompanied by events, talks and community engagement workshops, highlighting the theme of French culture and artistic presence. The programme will be launched with Le French May Reception at the gallery on the 11th of May from 6 to 8:30pm.
Hailed as one of the founders of the Kinetic and Optical Art movements of the 1950s, Cruz-Diez is part of more than 60 major museum collections worldwide and has been well appreciated in the Asia Pacific region since the 1980s, showcasing significant public commissions and exhibitions in Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. As one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he received the Rank of Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour and of Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his contribution to French culture. Cruz-Diez’ works are part of numerous public and private collections, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and MoMA. With Mastering Colour, Puerta Roja, introduces some of the most refined works by the artist to the region, capturing over six decades of tireless research into colour, line and perception, as well as experimentation with new materials and technologies.
Carlos Cruz-Diez relocated from Caracas to Paris in 1960 to further his career as an artist. This coincided with a trend of Latin American intellectuals looking to make their mark in the city seen as the cultural capital of modernization. Cruz-Diez joined a community of like-minded artists who were structuring a new discourse that challenged the traditions of the establishment, displayed in exhibitions such as Mouvement 2 at the Galerie Denise René of 1964. In the shadows of the two World Wars and the midst of the Cold War, the mentality was focused on change. Artists wanted to democratize art by collaborating on projects and showing work in public spaces. Advancements were being made to demystifying romantic notions with research, reason and mathematics. Cruz-Diez was no longer an individual artist breaking new ground, but a leading voice of the Op-Art and Kinetic movements.
With the aim of bringing the ideas of Carlos Cruz-Diez to the Hong Kong community, Puerta Roja is holding an educational program of events, talks and workshops, as part of Le French May. One of the highlights is an art workshop co-organised with The Sovereign Art Foundation as part of its ‘Make it Better’ programme for underprivileged children in Hong Kong. The workshop was designed in collaboration with the Cruz-Diez Art Foundation Learning Lab and will explain how colour is used in Cruz-Diez’s artwork. Puerta Roja will also hold a talk during its Le French May Reception on the 11th of May from 6 to 6.30pm, where the gallery founder Adriana Alvarez-Nichol will share her in-depth knowledge about Cruz-Diez and the history of the Kinetic and Optical Art movements.
In the words of Cruz-Diez: “Art and life cannot be separated because they are one in the same thing.” To celebrate this, Puerta Roja will invite the French music agency, Cliché, to curate an exclusive performance in the gallery space on 16th of May. This collaboration will establish the gallery’s first series of multidisciplinary events within its annual programme that integrates artwork with the community and presents moments for engagement with the younger generation.
Puerta Roja Founder Adriana Alvarez-Nichol says: “We are honored and excited to be participating in Le French May for the third time, especially when we are exhibiting such an influential and prestigious master as Carlos Cruz-Diez. I hope this special program will inspire curiosity within the community and continue our mission to share knowledge across continents.”