Carlos Cruz-Diez: Luminous Reality

A current exhibition of seminal digital works from the master of light exploration and trompe l’oeil – until 9th September…

The artist, Carlos Cruz-Diez.

Carlos Cruz-Diez:  Luminous Reality has transformed the London galleries of 30 Berkeley Square with an immersive, public show.  Set to run until 6th September, this first exhibition for PHILLIPS X – a new exhibition platform – presents masterworks from the duration of the Franco-Venezuelan artists career.  The exhibition includes significant and previously-unseen artworks, as well as works from important private collections.

Considered one of the greatest artistic innovators of the 20th and 21st Centuries, Cruz-Diez has focussed on the exploration of kinetic-optic art, via the use of colour, light and illusion.

Miety Heiden (Deputy Chairman /Head of Private Sales) and Kaeli Deane (Head of Latin American Art) have commented:-

‘The works highlighted in this exhibition illustrate the artistic achievements of Carlos Cruz-Diez.  A visionary and trailblazer at the forefront of kinetic art since the 1950s, Cruz-Diez has dedicated his career to an intense investigation of colour theory and the importance of viewer participation in art.  This unprecedented exhibition in London will include examples from the artist’s most important series, such as his renowned Physichromies as well as a Chromointerferent Environment, a fully immersive installation that embodies Cruz-Diez’s experiments with light.’.

‘Couleur Addictive No 354’ by Carlos Cruz-Diez, c. 2016. 120 x 120cm.

Carlos Cruz-Diez

Born in Caracas in 1923, Carlos Cruz-Diez is one of the foremost pioneers of Kinetic Art.  It was during his education at the Escuela de Artes Plasticas y Aplicadas that Cruz-Diez discovered his love of colour – a passion that would absorb him throughout his career.  Disregarding traditional picture-making as a process filled with limitations, Cruz-Diez began to experiment with colour in new ways, travelling to Paris and Barcelona where he came into contact with the work of Alexander Calder and Marcel Duchamp.  Inspired by European artworks and by literature investigating the theory of colour perception, Cruz-Diez began to explore ways of conjuring colour effects through variegated surfaces.  The product of restless research and invention, his interactive works appear to shift and change according to the viewer’s slightest movement, Colour and shapes appear and disappear in a constant kaleidoscopic interplay with the viewer’s eye.

Following Cruz-Diez’s tour of Europe, he returned to Venezuela and opened a studio where he began to experiment with kinetic and optical forms of art.  In 1956, he held his first private exhibition in Madrid, and in 1959, he began work on his early series of Physichromies.  Created using strips of cardboard, aluminium and Plexiglas arranged on different levels so as to give the impression of vibrating colour, these chromatic structures exemplify this pivotal period within the artist’s oeuvre.  In 1960, Cruz-Diez settled permanently in Paris, where he set up his own studio and gallery, which remain there to this day.  In Paris, his reputation rapidly grew, leading to exhibitions in Europe, South America and the US.  Cruz-Diez works in series which often span decades, illustrating his train of artistic development and in-depth exploration of his chosen themes.  One such series of structures is highlighted among the works in this exhibition, Induction Chromatique.  This work develops the ideas of the ‘after image’ or ‘retinal persistence’.


This is a dynamic exhibition platform at the forefront of contemporary art, design and culture.  Through ongoing curated programming and immersive exhibitions, couple with superior private sales, PHILLIPS X goes above and beyond, to highlight the work of notable artists and innovators of the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Phillips is a leading, global platform for buying and selling art and design.


Exhibition:  Until 9th September 2018

Location:  Phillips London, 30 Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6EX.

Other galleries:  Phillips New York, 450 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022; Phillips Hong Kong, 14/F St George’s Building, 2 Ice House Street, Central Hong Kong.


[Credits:  Feature image – Carlos Cruz-Diez with one of his installation pieces (; Phillips London Press Office]


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