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RVB, the colors of the century
Le Musée en Herbe, Paris


“Before the arrival of color television, printed images were all created using yellow, blue, red, and black.” - Carlos Cruz-Diez

Rouge, Vert, Bleu [Red, Green, Blue] is the title of the Carlos Cruz-Diez exhibition for children and youngsters at the Musée en Herbe.

Referring to the works in this exhibition, Cruz-Diez says, “Before the arrival of color television, printed images were all created using yellow, blue, red, and black. They were chemical colors to be used with an opaque support such as paper. Since television and numerical devices generate luminous images, the colors involved are physical; they are the colors of the prism: Red, Green, Blue, light, and darkness.”

An Induction Chromatique à Double Fréquence [Double Frequency Chromatic Induction] can be seen on the façade at the entrance to the Museum. A Chromosaturation has been installed in one of the rooms, where the viewer can enter an environment consisting of colored chambers and be immersed in a total chromatic situation where color can be seen and felt as a vital experience, unassisted by form and with no support whatsoever.

Visitors to the exhibition can also enjoy an Environnement Chromointerférent [Chromo-Interference Environment], where colored lines and patterns are projected onto people and objects, and what was once static begins to move. Viewers assume the double role of “author” and “actor” and experience their performance in a space that is constantly being transformed.

The Experiencia Cromática Aleatoria Interactiva [Interactive Random Chromatic Experience]—accessible on the exhibition’s computers—allows children to inhabit the creative world of the artist, just as a musician does when playing a composition while reading the composer’s score. A Cruz-Diez App is available for iPad and iPhone.

Cruz-Diez has also installed an Induction Chromatique à Double Fréquence [Double Frequency Chromatic Induction] just outside the museum, at the Place des Victoires. This is an ephemeral work that explores the phenomenon of post-image, which is also known as the retinal persistence effect. It creates complementary, virtual colors that are not actually present—they exist in the space between the viewer’s eye and the white paper background where the other colors are printed.

“In these systematically programmed works, I have only used red, green, blue, and black, plus the white that is contributed by the paper. The result is seemingly contradictory because, though the support is opaque, I have created the luminous colors of the prism, the colors of light.” At 89 years of age, this Franco-Venezuelan artist is still creating and inventing. His research into the realm of color dates back to 1954 when he was a member of the Kinetic movement—the avant-garde art in Europe at the time. “In the last fifty years,” says Cruz-Diez, “I have worked to launch color into space, sans support or anecdote: to show it in all its ambiguity; color as an ephemeral circumstance; color in constant mutation. Viewers of these works experience a profound interaction with color, and discover the ability to create and banish color through their own means of perception.”

Le Musée en Herbe, which opened thirty years ago, is the backdrop for an original educational exhibition designed to develop youthful sensitivity, curiosity, and creativity. A different kind of museum, Le Musée en Herbe uses games to introduce children and youngsters to art and culture.

Le Musée en Herbe, in Paris, welcomes some 70,000 visitors a year.

Exhibition: Carlos Cruz-Diez "Rouge, Vert, Bleu"
Dates: September 12 to December 16, 2012
Address: Le Musée en Herbe, 21 rue Hérold, 75001 Paris

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