Investigations 1954-1959


Proyectos murales (Caracas 1954)
The Proyectos Murales [Mural Projects] with their geometric and linear forms were an attempt to set up an autonomous object without reference to nature. Amongst them, Proyecto para un muro exterior manipulable [Project for an External Readily Manipulated Wall] stands out. On the project there are structures that already prefigure what would later become Cruz-Diez’s biggest concern: to launch color into space by means of reflected light.

However, the importance of the external walls lies on their social aspect rather than the aesthetic. The participatory works were designed so that the artist could share the pleasure of his studies and research with the most dispossessed people, who otherwise had no access to art.


Parénquimas (Barcelona 1955-1956)
The Parénquimas [Parenchymas] or Signos vegetales [Vegetable Signs] are works with organic forms in which there is already evidence of some interest in the problem of overlapping color and colored frames, while the design still reflects some attachment to the organic. The result resembled a traditional painting with design, composition and textures. It reached its climax though with Red Wall from 1956, the last work of the series. There, despite the presence of organic structures, there are spot colors.


Objetos rítmicos móviles (Barcelona 1956)
At the same time of the Parénquimas, Cruz-Diez produced the series of Objetos rítmicos móviles o manipulables [Mobile Rhythmic or Readily Manipulated Objects], with the intentions of modifying the notions about the objective or purpose of art. He wanted to avoid a nail and a wall being its only destiny.


El problema de la percepción óptica y la inestabilidad del plano (Caracas 1956-1959)
Back in Caracas in mid-1956, Cruz-Diez continued working on the Parénquimas until the end of the year when he focused his research on the instability of the surface. These searches were directed particularly towards the spatial instability that occurs in the eye when confronted with situations of limited vision. The aim was to impart movement to what it never had: the surface. This is how from the earliest works in this series, Modulación óptica de la superficie [Optical Modulation of the Surface], Construcción en el espacio [Constructions in Space] and Construcción en cadena [Construction in Progress], in 1957, and then in Estructura óptica [Optical Structure] in 1958, the artist proposes a succession of forms that are inversed as a consequence of the optical fatigue.

From these experiments on perception, Cruz-Diez was already looking for ways to launch the color into space — the basic problem of the Physichromie.

The most important work of this series is Doble animación de un plano [Double Animation of a Plane] in 1959. However, the artist concluded that the evidence lacked sufficient strength, so he decided to continue his search to find a more effective means to release the color into the space.

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Proyectos murales
Objetos rítmicos móviles
Inestabilidad del plano
Date Range
Fondation Villa Datris
7, avenue des Quatre Otages
84800 L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
22.05.21 - 01.11.21

Art Forum Würth Capena
Viale della Buona Fortuna, 2
00060 Capena (Rm)
10.05.21 - 08.10.22

Galería Cayón
Carrer de Sant Roc 24
07701 Mahón. Menorca
(Islas Baleares)
12.06.21 - 28.08.21

Museo Reina Sofía
Edificio Nouvel, Biblioteca y Centro de Documentación, Espacio D
12.03.21 - 11.06.21

Domaine de Chamarande
38 rue du Commandant Arnoux
91730 Chamarande
19.05.21 - 28.08.21

Dubai World Expo 2020
Dubai, UAE
01.10.21 - 31.03.22