The largest selling exhibition of the artist’s work in London will showcase recent artworks alongside historic works from private collections
16 July – 6 September 2018, London
LONDON – 18 JUNE 2018 – Phillips’ Summer Exhibition, Carlos Cruz-Diez: Luminous Reality, is set to transform the London galleries of 30 Berkeley Square with an immersive public show from 16 July to 6 September 2018. This marks the first exhibition for PHILLIPS X, the company’s new exhibition platform. Presenting masterworks from throughout the career of Franco-Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, the exhibition will include significant and previously unseen artworks, as well as works from important private collections. Considered one of the greatest artistic innovators of the 20th and 21st centuries, this exhibition of Cruz-Diez’s work will focus on his exploration of kinetic-optic art through the use of colour, light and illusion.
Miety Heiden, Deputy Chairman and Head of Private Sales, and Kaeli Deane, Head of Latin American Art, said, “The works highlighted in this exhibition illustrate the artistic achievements of Carlos Cruz-Diez. A visionary and trailblazer at the forefront of kinetic art since the 1950s, Cruz-Diez has dedicated his career to an intense investigation of colour theory and the importance of viewer participation in art. This unprecedented exhibition in London will include examples from the artist’s most important series, such as his renowned Physichromies as well as a Chromointerferent Environment, a fully immersive installation that embodies Cruz-Diez’s experiments with light. The combination of previously unseen recent works and historic works demonstrating various periods of his career throughout the last century culminate in a broad and rounded exploration of Cruz-Diez’s artistic evolution. We look forward to sharing them with both new and longstanding admirers of his work.”
Born in Caracas in 1923, Carlos Cruz-Diez is one of the foremost pioneers of Kinetic Art. It was during his education at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas that Cruz-Diez discovered his love of colour; a passion that would absorb him throughout his artistic career. Disregarding traditional picture making as a process filled with limitations, Cruz-Diez began to experiment with colour in new ways, travelling to Paris and Barcelona where he came into contact with the work of Alexander Calder and Marcel Duchamp. Inspired by European artworks and by literature investigating the theory of colour perception, Cruz-Diez began to explore ways of conjuring colour effects through variegated surfaces. The product of restless research and invention, his interactive works appear to shift and change according to the viewer’s slightest movement. Colour and shapes appear and disappear in a constant kaleidoscopic interplay with the viewer’s eye.
Highlights from the Exhibition
Following Carlos Cruz-Diez’s tour of Europe he returned to Venezuela and opened a studio where he began to experiment with kinetic and optical forms of art. In 1956 he held his first private exhibition in Madrid, and in 1959 he began work on his early series of Physichromies. Created using strips of cardboard, aluminium, and Plexiglas arranged on different levels so as to give the impression of vibrating colour, these chromatic structures exemplify this pivotal period within the artist’s oeuvre. In 1960, Cruz-Diez settled permanently in Paris, where he set up his own studio and gallery which remains there to this day. In Paris his reputation rapidly grew, leading to exhibitions in Europe, South America and the United States. Cruz-Diez works in series which often span decades, illustrating his train of artistic development and exploring in depth his chosen themes. One such series of structures is highlighted among the works in this exhibition, Induction Chromatique (illustrated below, page three). This work develops the idea of the ‘after image’ or ‘retinal persistence’, the theory that an image continues to appear in one’s vision after exposure to the subject. A recent work from another seminal series titled Environement Chromointereferent features a changing, three-dimensional chromatic environment activated by the movement of the spectators as they enter the space (illustrated above).
PHILLIPS X is a dynamic exhibition platform at the forefront of contemporary art, design and culture. Through ongoing curated programming and immersive exhibitions, coupled with superior private sales, PHILLIPS X goes above and beyond to highlight the work of notable artists and innovators of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Exhibition: 16 July – 6 September 2018
Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London
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