Carlos Cruz Diez’s contacts in the Caracas press, in particular at El Nacional, where he was employed as an illustrator, allow him to publish articles in which he promotes his work and the work of his close friends among contemporary artists. In this review of the Exposición Internacional de Arte Cinético, jointly curated by Italy’s Daniel Spoerri and Sweden’s Pontus Hulten at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, he notes the importance of the event on two fronts: for Venezuela, since he and two other Venezuelan artists—Jesús Soto and Narciso Debourg—are participating and, secondly, because it is presenting a synthesis of the art trends that have conquered “movement” throughout the world, a defining feature of the twentieth century. Cruz-Diez stresses the universality of the kinetic issue addressed in the works on display and the way it has spread in answer to his generation’s concern that it has been “left out of history.” In a separate section he addresses the concept of “visual art” that transcends conventional, pictorial, and sculptural boundaries. He explains that this is so in the case of sculpture because it operates in virtual space; and, in the case of painting, because it relies on a range of different materials in its attempts to transcend the pictorial plane that appears to confine it and occupy the third dimension.
According to Cruz-Diez there are three outstanding artists at the exhibition: Alexander Calder, Jean Tinguely, and Jesús Soto. Without going into details, he seems to suggest that the “inventions” of many precursors (Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Naum Gabo, and Aleksandr Rodchenko, among others) are merely mechanical works and therefore do not rise to the level of language, something Calder’s mobiles certainly do, but are expressive and lyrical objects of a new world that are made with elements that are representative of their time. He is talking about artists who are able to break free from the weight of tradition in order to invent things using the materials and tools at hand at their particular point in time. Cruz-Diez notes the satirical power of Tinguely’s absurd devices that prompt us to ponder our fascination with machines; he discusses the notion of “accident” that the Swiss sculptor has introduced to modern art and suggests that in his work, Surrealism and Dadaism take on an unsuspected dimension. Cruz-Diez underscores Soto’s visual coherence that is designed to incorporate innovations that enrich his language: his “plastic structures,” which arose from Geometric Abstraction, add something new on the plane—movement. His “wires” are a step toward the dissolution of form in favor of material value. Cruz-Diez ends his review with a discussion of Soto’s “murals” that deftly include found objects as well as roots and networks that he makes “vibrate.”