Carlos Cruz-Diez (French/Venezuelan, 1923-2019)
Physichromie 1174, 1981 signed twice, titled, dated twice and inscribed 'EN EL RECUERDO CRUZ-DIEZ / PARIS 26/10/81 PHYSICHROMIE No 1.174 CRUZ-DIEZ PARIS SEPT. 1981' (on the reverse) silkscreen on aluminum, stainless steel inserts 19 11/16 x 19 11/16 in. 50 x 50 cm.
This work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of Cruz-Diez being prepared by the Cruz-Diez Art Foundation, Paris. ProvenancePrivate Collection, Europe Sale: Dorotheum, Vienna, Zietgenössische Kunst-Part I, 27 November 2013, Lot 909 Private Collection, Aventura Sale: Sotheby's, New York, Latin America: Modern Art, 22 November 2016, Lot 173 Private Collection, Europe Sale: Fine Art Auctions Miami, Important Paintings & Sculptures, 9 December 2017, Lot 212 Acquired directly from the above by the present ownerConsidered a master of Post-War art, Carlos Cruz-Diez (1923 - 2019) was the leading protagonist of the Kinetic and Optical Art movements, which would create a new and influential visual landscape. Born in Venezuela, after he completed his education in Fine Arts he moved to Barcelona in 1955, and then to Paris in 1960 where he lived most of his life. Having gained recognition at an early age, it was The Responsive Eye, an exhibition in 1965 at the Museum of Modern Art curated by William Seitz, that changed the trajectory of the artist's career. This exhibition, and its subsequent energetic press coverage, introduced the world to his kaleidoscope technique. Cruz-Diez dedicated his artistic practice and writings to the otherworldliness of color, shifting light, and its ability to evoke a hypnotic state. Cruz-Diez devised relief paintings of multicolored strips that appear to vibrate and change color as the viewer moves past them. These works, for which he is best known, were called "physichromies,". The present work, Physichromie 1174 (1981) is an exceptional example of the artist's unique technique. Influenced by his Impressionist forebears who used color and light in an entirely new way, Cruz-Diaz was also affected by the chromatic experiments of Sir Isaac Newton, as well as Georges Seurat's groundbreaking invention of Pointillism. Evident in his own geometric compositions, Cruz-Diaz was taken with Josef Albers as both a theoretician and painter. Albers' 1963 publication, Interaction of Color, as well as his Homage to the Square, had a profound impact on the artist.Cruz-Diez was professor of Kinetic Technique at the École Nationale Supérieur des Beaux-Arts, Paris between 1972 and 1973. In 1986, he was made Director of the Art Unit of International Advanced Studies in Caracas, and in 1997 he helped found the Carlos Cruz-Diez Museum of Print and Design in the same city.Cruz-Diez participated in the XXXI Venice Biennale (1962) and was selected as the sole Venezuelan representative at the XXXV Venice Biennale (1968). He has participated in the Bienal Internacional de São Paulo in 1953, 1967 and in 2002. In 2002, he was awarded by France the medal for Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. His works are housed in collections worldwide including: the Tate, London; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Sofia Imber, Caracas; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Bogotá; Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Museum of Modern Art, Sydney. Exhibitions in New York and Houston in 2008 and 2011 brought further recognition to his work that would be followed by Op Art retrospectives at the Royal Academy, London and El Museo del Barrio, New York. The artist passed away earlier this year at the age of 95.