Carlos Cruz-Diez

Carlos Cruz-Diez (Venezuela, 1923-2019) was an artist and member of the Op Art movement whose work focuses on the kinetic energy of color.

He was born on August 17, 1923, in Caracas, Venezuela, traveling to Paris where he became interested in the colors of the European countryside as they differed from his home country. Upon his return to Caracas, he opened a studio and began to investigate kinetic and optical forms of art— the former especially, which had formed into a movement in Caracas, thanks to artists such as Jesús Rafael Soto and Alejandro Otero.

Cruz-Diez’s work is based on the moiré effect, in which lines of contrasting color give the impression of movement, best exemplified in his Physiochrome series. For a time, he taught kinetic technique at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, and later work as the director of art for the Institute for Advanced Studies in Caracas.

In 1997, his home city honored the artist when they opened the Carlos Cruz-Diez Print and Design Museum. In 2002, he was awarded by France the medal for Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. The artist passed away on July 27, 2019 in Paris, France.