The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This is the preface of a book by Carlos Cruz-Diez, Reflexiones sobre el color (1989) in which the Venezuelan Kinetic artist uses short sentences to set forth the definitions and basic concepts of the art he creates. He also discusses the condition of man in today’s world and the differences between artists in the past and those who live “on the threshold of the third millennium.” The artist goes on to describe the society as well as contemporary artwork, an “event” in which the “real space/time” dialogue is always present.
In 1989, Carlos Cruz-Diez (b. 1923) published the profusely illustrated book Reflexiones sobre el color, with 16 texts written by this major public figure about the trend called “Venezuelan Kinetic art.” Five were technical texts related to the artist’s series (Fisicromías, 1959; Inducción cromática, 1963; Cromo-interferencias, 1964; Transcromías, 1965; and Cromosaturación, 1965). This small volume includes an appendix with quotes from classic and contemporary writers. The artist introduces his book Reflexiones sobre el color (a scholarly book) with two texts: this preface and “¿Por qué explicar el arte?” In the latter, he sets forth the general theoretical and philosophical hypotheses that lead him in his explorations into the phenomena of color and their execution in his visual artwork. Radiating conviction, he asserts both his definition of “art” and his ideas on the artist’s role in contemporary society. It is a text that is important for an understanding of the artist’s thinking and his work. Moreover, its self-sufficiency makes it more meaningful, a meaning that grows as we read the entire publication, which is both terse and comprehensive. Regarding the form of the book, Cruz-Diez offers a “visual reading” (in addition to the conceptual), since the lines are centered on the page and some words are given typographic emphasis. There is a certain reference here to the concrete poetry that was in style starting in the mid-1950s (mainly in Brazil, Germany and Japan). Here, the artist has no intent of writing a “concrete poem,” in the sense of visual games, sound games or forms that affect the significance of the words. Instead, he uses such graphic strategies for the purpose of achieving direct, precise communication. Unlike other Venezuelan artists, Cruz-Diez can be characterized by his ongoing interest in communicating his artistic processes and experiences to the viewing public, along with his calling to teach. [For other texts on the artist’s work, see the ICAA digital archive: Jean Clay’s essay (Untitled) [“Pronto hará ocho años que Carlos Cruz-Diez...”] (doc. no. 858602); Victor Guédez’s article “Vertientes plásticas y estéticas en Carlos Cruz-Diez “(doc. no. 857000); Frank Popper’s study “Cruz Diez: el acontecimiento color” (doc. no. 861671); Freddy Carreño’s text “Carlos Cruz-Diez: el color más allá de la materialidad” (doc. no. 858046); Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza’s interview “Entrevista a Cruz Diez [No imitamos, nos imitan]” (doc. no. 862938); and one more interview “El artista en la arquitectura y la ciudad: Diálogo con Carlos Cruz-Diez” by José María Salvador (doc. no. 858069)].