Hailed as one of the founders of the Op-Art and Kinetic movements of the 1950s, Franco-Venezualan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez's tireless research into colour, line and perception over the last six decades has resulted in an impressive portfolio.
He has been displayed in more than 60 major museums worldwide, including the MOMA New York, Tate Modern in London, and Centre Pompidou in Paris. This month, Cruz-Diez brings a selection of his most exciting works to Hong Kong in his first solo gallery exhibition with Puerta Roja.
Ahead of his show, he shares with us the thought process behind his creations:
Where do you find inspiration?
I don’t get inspiration, I reflect. Inspiration was for Romantic artists from the 19th century. I am a pragmatic from the 20th and 21st centuries. Nothing is random in my works; everything is made on purpose, programed and codified.
What work are you most proud of and why?
All my works are so important to me, because they are the physical representation of my proposals on colour. In the Physichromies, Inductions Chromatiques, Chromointerférences or any other of my works, colour appears and disappears through a dialogue that arises in space at the instant you observe it.
Describe how you innovate in terms of materials and techniques.
Technology is a tool for invention, which means it is a medium that allows us to create something else. It is not an end in itself. The use of new technology should be at the service of a concept, a coherent artistic discourse. It should imply reflection.
What projects are you currently involved with?
I’m currently working hard on different projects of architectural integrations so that my works will contribute to making urban spaces in different countries more pleasant for citizens.
What are the subjects you’ve used in your work that you find most riveting?
The chromatic universe—I made incursions during many decades to change centuries-old habits that prevented most of us from enjoying colour. I’ve succeeded in taking colour out of the plane and bringing it into space. Colour seen as an ephemeral situation and in continuous mutation... This is riveting.
What do you want people to take away or remember when they are engaging with a piece you created?
I want people to discover that colour is not a certainty but a circumstance, which changes from an instant to another because it’s an ephemeral reality, autonomous and evolutionary.
Watch the video below to experience Cruz-Diez's ongoing work Chromosaturation:
Carlos Cruz Diez: Mastering Colour exhibition runs from March 18 to May 25 at Puerta Roja, Soho 189 Art Lane, 189 Queen's Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong