New York

Carlos Cruz-Diez

Americas Society

In his systematic experiments with color—influenced, like much Venezuelan work of the 1950s and ’60s, by the practices of geometric abstraction then being reconsidered in postwar Paris—Carlos Cruz-Diez betrays the meticulousness of a scientist or a technician. Cruz-Diez’s work from that time was part of a generational break with earlier Venezuelan pictorial models, which favored tradition, craft, and narrative. The young antagonists pitted precision, clarity, and rigor against the expressionism and subjectivity valued by these past representational styles, and against the informalist and Surrealist tendencies popular in Paris, where many of these artists relocated.

Cruz-Diez’s rationalistic framework (he once remarked that his aesthetic could be summarized as the “efficacy of evidence”) resonated with the country’s aspirations toward progress and development. Modernist values, which had

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