MFA Houston Presents Retrospective of Franco-Venezuelan Artist Carlos Cruz-Diez

Carlos Cruz-Diez: Color in Space and Time features more than 150 works from the artist´s wide-ranging career, culled from the Cruz-Diez Foundation collection at the MFAH, and major private and public collections around the world

For more than five decades Carlos Cruz-Diez (b. 1923) has intensively experimented with the origins and optics of color. His wide-ranging body of work includes unconventional color structures, light environments, street interventions, architectural integration projects and experimental works that engage the response of the human eye while insisting on the participatory nature of color. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Cruz-Diez Foundation, Houston are organizing the first large-scale retrospective of this pioneering Franco-Venezuelan artist. Carlos Cruz-Diez: Color in Space and Time will feature more than 150 works created from the 1940s to today, including paintings, silk-screen prints and innovative chromatic structures; room-size chromatic environments, architectural models and videos; and a virtual re-creation of the artist´s studio. The exhibition will introduce international audiences to Cruz-Diez´s extensive production and will place his theoretical and artistic contributions to 20th-century Modernism in a broader context than they have traditionally been seen. The exhibition will make its international debut in Houston and is slated to travel.

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Venezuelan, born 1923 Cromosaturación Chromosaturation 1965/2004 Three chromo-cubicles (fluorescent light with blue, red, and green filters) The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of the Cruz-Diez Foundation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2009.464 © 2010 Carlos Cruz-Diez / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The starting point for Cruz-Diez´s chromatic investigations is the unstable nature of color. In his view, color is not a pigment on a solid surface but a “situation” that results from the projection of light on objects and the way this light is processed by the human eye. Insofar as color depends on the movement of the viewer in front of the work, it entails a participatory and interactive experience in space and time. The artist´s task is to induce “situations” and to stimulate the dialogue between the stable and the unstable nature of color on a variety of supports by means of multiple strategies and unconventional materials that included cardboard, aluminum, polished stainless steel and acrylic paint.

Accompanied by a major catalogue, Carlos Cruz-Diez: Color in Space and Time is curated by Mari Carmen Ramírez, Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and Director, International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the MFAH. Carlos Cruz-Diez: Color in Space and Time will be on view at the MFAH´s Caroline Wiess Law Building from February 6 to July 4, 2011.

Founded in 1900, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is the largest art museum in America south of Chicago, west of Washington, D.C., and east of Los Angeles. The encyclopedic collection of the MFAH numbers over 62,170 works and embraces the art of antiquity to the present.

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