houston

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Chromosaturation (detail), 1965/2011, three chromo-cubicles (fluorescent light with blue, red, and green filters), dimensions variable.

Carlos Cruz-Diez

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Chromosaturation (detail), 1965/2011, three chromo-cubicles (fluorescent light with blue, red, and green filters), dimensions variable.

Though long a paramount presence in his native Venezuela and the Parisian milieu he entered more than fifty years ago, the eighty-eight-year-old maestro Carlos Cruz-Diez has enjoyed a surge of interest in the past decade, and this traveling exhibition, attentively curated by Mari Carmen Ramírez, constitutes his first comprehensive survey on North American soil. Foregrounding Cruz-Diez’s lifelong desire to activate chroma as an autonomous force distinct from other aesthetic elements such as line, form, and composition and from such historical contingencies as race, class, ethnicity, and gender—an awkward position that situates the artist between “Modernism’s pictorially based formal and metaphysical concerns … [and] Post-Modernism’s discursive, nonobject-based, anti-aesthetic stance”—Ramírez posits this reason as the likely cause for the artist’s delayed popular reception.

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