In this article Roberto Guevara, the Venezuelan art critic (who was well-known during the period spanning the 1970s to the 1990s), presents the basic characteristics of his critical approach: general opinions (including statements that reinforce readers’ expectations); scant precision in his arguments; and the almost always approximate use of the relevant terms. Here, Guevara claims that the Colores aditivos that Cruz-Diez exhibited at the Galería Conkright (1971) achieve a “forcefulness” that was lacking in the static three-dimensional works the artist had presented at his solo show in Caracas two years earlier. Cruz-Diez has now achieved a level of direct expression that requires none of the mechanical or electrical devices used in his previous works. However, he provides no description of those earlier works or their objectives and has nothing to say about how they work, let alone about the “forcefulness” he mentions.
On the whole, though, he is right when he says that the Colores aditivos, like the Inducciones cromáticas, achieve their objectives: causing the appearance of colors that do not exist as pigments directly applied on the support. In other words, without resorting to mobile elements that are manipulated or moved by electric motors, which increases the effects without accentuating the appearance of the emerging colors. His description of the Colores aditivos, however, is superficial, suggesting that he does not understand what Cruz-Diez is after. Guevara describes “the shower of visual intermittencies” stimulated by contemplating the artist’s works, but makes no reference to the objective—the appearance of colors that are not pigments painted on the support.
This review could have explained why these Colores aditivos were more “forceful” than the artist’s previous works. It could have provided specific examples of the “even more important implications” it mentions. In short, viewers of these works might have basic questions about the reality they have observed: are the emerging colors as real as pigments? Are they substantial aspects of reality, or are they merely optical illusions?