Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail
  • ICAA Record ID
    Dialéctica del color
    Reflexion sobre el color. -- Caracas, Venezuela : FabriArt, 1989
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Cruz-Díez, Carlos. "Dialéctica del color." In Reflexión sobre el color, 87-106. Caracas, Venezuela: FabriArt, 1989.
Editorial Categories [?]

In this didactic text, illustrated with thirty-four pictures, Carlos Cruz-Diez describes the step-by-step sequence he calls “the dialectic of color” in his works. He begins by presenting conventional color planes; these are followed by planes chosen for their flexibility or his affection toward them; he then proceeds to split the plane with parallel lines which develop into “chromatic event modules” that eventually lead to aesthetic expressions of the preceding moments. He illustrates the process with one of his works, Inducción del rojo (1981).


In 1989, Carlos Cruz-Diez published the book Reflexión sobre el color, which was generously illustrated and contained sixteen essays written by this seminal figure in the field of “Venezuelan Kinetic Art.” Five of these essays were technical descriptions of his series (Fisicromías, 1959; Inducción cromática, 1963; Cromo-interferencias, 1964; Transcromías, 1965; and Cromosaturación, 1965). The appendix of the book lists a collection of quotes from classical and contemporary authors. This particular essay stands out among Cruz-Diez’s didactic writings because of its instructive nature (which is similar to another essay in the same book, “Cambio de lectura. El color en el espacio”). Here he explains the essential creative and technical process that led him from a simple color plane to the development of his chromatic works. Each step is illustrated; the explanatory texts, placed beside key images that are extraordinarily brief and precise. The artist’s objective is to inform viewers so that, in addition to enjoying the work, they might also learn enough to understand its phenomenological and perceptive operation. As distinct from the following text, in which the drawings are rendered freehand, here Cruz-Diez presents a sequence of squares that represent the process of chromatic changes, interventions, and permutations. This could well be considered an essential manual for those who would fully understand these works based on the splintering of planes and color reflections.   


[For other articles about this artist’s work, see in the ICAA digital archive the essay by Jean Clay (untitled) [“Pronto hará ocho años que Carlos Cruz-Diez…”] = [“Voici bientôt huit ans que Carlos Cruz-Diez…”] (doc. no. 858602); the article by Víctor Guédez “Vertientes plásticas y estéticas en Carlos Cruz-Diez” (doc. no. 857000); the review by Frank Popper “Cruz Diez: el acontecimiento color” (doc. no. 861671); by Freddy Carreño “Carlos Cruz-Diez: el color más allá de la materialidad” (doc. no. 858046); the interview by Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza “Entrevista a Cruz-Diez [‘No imitamos, nos imitan…’]” (doc. no. 862938); and the interview by José María Salvador “El artista en la arquitectura y la ciudad. Diálogo con Carlos Cruz-Diez” (doc. no. 858069). For articles written by Cruz-Diez, 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); “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); “La construcción de un lenguaje” (doc. no. 857057); and “La reflexión” (doc. no. 857837)].

María Elena Huizi
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris
Courtesy of Carlos Cruz-Diez/ Cruz-Diez Foundation, Paris, France
Biblioteca Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Plaza de Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas