His other signature works, labyrinths of colored light that he called “chromosaturations,” plunge participants into a series of intense, stimulating and sometimes destabilizing “chromatic situations,” as he called them.
“So intense is the light that the colors seem to be felt rather than seen, like heat,” Holland Cotter of The New York Times wrote in reviewing “Carlos Cruz-Diez: (In)formed by Color,” a 2008 retrospective at the Americas Society in New York. “The sensation is slightly disorienting, dizzying, as if gravity had been tampered with.”
Mr. Cruz-Diez’s interest in “launching color into space,” as he once wrote, and his desire to create accessible interactive environments, have influenced many younger artists. Estrellita Brodsky, a collector, philanthropist, curator and advocate of Latin American art, who organized the Americas Society exhibition, wrote in an email that artists like Olafur Eliasson, Tauba Auerbach and Ivan Navarro share Mr. Cruz-Diez’s interest in “light and color as a sensorial experience.”
Mr. Cruz-Diez, who wrote extensively on color theory, was well aware of this visceral, public-facing aspect of his legacy.
“It is only now, happily, that people are realizing that a great number of the art movements of the last 30 or 40 years come out of kineticism,” he told Ms. Brodsky in a 2010 interview in Bomb magazine. “Installation art, conceptual art, participatory art, interactive art, happenings, street art — we did all those things.
“What we called ‘environments’ later became installations,” he added. “Now young people read this work differently, and what they’re doing is called interactive art!”
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