This brief article, published in El Nacional newspaper includes references to what Edward T. Hall described as “high context” cultures, in which interpersonal relationships (the connections between individuals, families, and friends) are of great importance. Hence, almost half the review—which was intended as an announcement of the academic posting of Carlos Cruz-Diez (1923–2019) at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas de Caracas—repeats the fact that he is a coworker. The article also announces the position to which he has been assigned at the school (Professor of Composition and History of Applied Arts) under the terms of the reorganization recently agreed to by the Venezuelan Ministry of Education. The article ignores the reorganization that took effect on that same day, October 1, 1953.
As a result of the reorganization undertaken by the Ministry of Education, the school no longer focused exclusively on the visual arts, known as “pure art” in those days. In the so-called “applied arts,” students could learn “art techniques” that could be used in the graphic arts, graphic design, and printing. The object was to provide students with the tools they would need to find paid work, since there was not much of an art market in the country at the time. The school’s new academic focus explains why so many Venezuelan visual artists worked as graphic designers.
Something else to consider in Cruz-Diez’s art career is the importance of both the “composition” and the techniques involved in the photomechanical reproduction of images that he taught at the school. The former was a system of formal organization that took time to break free from so that he could, eventually, work with the serial repetition of form and photomechanical techniques. The latter (the idea of patterns, and moiré in particular) taught him how to liberate color from form. This was an essential step that would define his entire art production in later years.