Carlos Cruz-Diez Venezuelian, 1923-2019

Cruz-Díez (b. 1923 Caracas, Venezuela – d. 2019 Paris, France) was a leading Kinetic and Op artist, and still remains the greatest proponent of this movement. He is represented in museums worldwide, and is considered a pioneer of colour theory and perception.


Throughout his career Cruz-Díez has focused on four types of self-defined Op art categories: Physichoromies, Chromo-interferences, Chromosaturations and Transchromies. All of these colour-based experiments focus on variations of the observer’s position in relation to the work, the light directed at the work, and the relationship between the colours presented. 


The most significant of his works are the Physichromies. These involve active participation as the colour of the work changes depending on the position of the viewer. Cruz-Díez had used the moiré effect to produce a sensation of motion by his particular composition of lines. He refers to this changing effect of the image as “vibrations”. Through his work, Cruz-Díez wished 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.


As well as large private and public installations around the world, his artworks are housed in prestigious permanent collections at institutions such as: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, Tate Modern, London, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne.