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.
In this autobiographical essay, Carlos Cruz-Diez recounts key moments and experiences in his career, starting with his graduation from the Escuela de Bellas Artes de Caracas (at that time, Cruz-Diez was convinced that the artist’s task consisted of expressing a “great chronicle of the reality at once social and magical of Latin America”). An eminent artist of what is called “Venezuelan Kinetic art,” Carlos Cruz-Diez describes the doubts that, in 1954, led him to question his early ideas on artistic “commitment,” ideas operative in the work he had been producing. He goes on to explain the origins of other investigations centered on the problem of color per se, investigations based on the contributions of Modern painting tied to scientific and philosophical discoveries. On that foundation, he was able to build the conceptual (theoretical) platform that enabled him to produce art that entailed a non-traditional formulation of color.
In 1989, Carlos Cruz-Diez published the book Reflexión sobre el color. The volume, which contains a great many illustrations, compiles sixteen texts by this fundamental figure in what is called “Venezuelan Kinetic art,” among them five technical texts on his series Fisicromías (1959), Inducción cromática (1963) Cromo-interferencias (1964), Transcromías (1965), and Cromosaturación (1965). The brief volume contains an appendix with quotes from classical and contemporary authors. The third chapter, entitled “La construcción de un lenguaje,” is autobiographical and, as such, has testimonial value while also providing specific information. It provides a very concise overview of the long process by which Cruz-Diez constructed a visual language all his own. The artist discusses the different factors that influenced the formation of that language, which Cruz-Diez assesses as a whole, among them his studies of the physics and phenomenology of color, knowledge of processes for the multiplication of the image, of color photography, of photo engraving, and of different systems for printing on paper.
[For other texts on Cruz-Diez’s work, see in the ICAA digital archive Jean Clay’s untitled essay “[Pronto hará ocho años que Carlos Cruz-Diez...] = [Voici bientôt huit ans que Carlos Cruz-Diez]” (doc. no. 858602); Víctor 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 “Carlos Cruz-Diez: el color más allá de la materialidad” (doc. no. 858046); Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza’s “Entrevista a Cruz Diez [‘No imitamos, nos imitan…’]” (doc. no. 862938); and José María Salvador’s interview “El artista en la arquitectura y la ciudad. Diálogo con Carlos Cruz-Diez” (doc. no. 858069). For texts by Cruz-Diez himself, see “Estética y efectividad” (doc. no. 857857); “Estructura y eficacia del discurso plástico” (doc. no. 857928); “Cambio de lectura. El color en el espacio. Caracas, 1959” (doc. no. 857908); “Dialéctica del color” (doc. no. 857888); “Didáctica y dialéctica del color” (doc. no. 858089); (untitled) “[El arte es una estructura compleja…]” (doc. no. 857019); (untitled) “[Los nuevos conceptos y experiencias que se realizan en la actualidad...]” (doc. no. 856961); “¿Por qué explicar el arte?” (doc. no. 857038); “¿Por qué una reflexión sobre el color?” (doc. no. 857817); and “La reflexión” (doc. no. 857837)].