Carlos Cruz-Diez (1923 - 2019)

Physichromie No. 1270 (1990)

Mixed media
height: 80cm
width: 80cm

Donated by Carlos Cruz-Diez 1996


Cruz-Diez is known internationally as one of the pioneers of the Kinetic art of the 1950s and 1960s, and Physichromie No. 1270 belongs to a series of similarly composed works begun in 1959. By definition, Kinetic art is the incorporation of movement into the artwork. This may be actual motion, generated by motor or activated by air movement, or it may be, as in the case with this work a perceptual illusion. As the viewer passes the work, previously invisible colours and geometric volumes emerge and the whole composition appears to vibrate. Such an effect is produced by the delicate and sophisticated use of light and colour in the composition of the piece. Painted strips of PVC have been placed at right angles on to a ground painted with vertical narrow coloured lines executed with absolute precision.

The work of Cruz-Diez takes a pivotal position amongst the artistic developments of the sixties. In recognition of this, his work is included in several prominent modern art collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and the Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas. In England, a permanent architectural work by Cruz-Diez can be seen at the Venezuelan Embassy's BolĂ­var Hall.

Joanne Harwood, 2008

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