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Bélgica Rodríguez

revised by Iliana Cepero

(b Caracas, Aug 17, 1923).

Venezuelan kinetic artist and photographer. He studied in 1940 and 1941 at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas in Caracas, producing paintings in the style of Social Realism while working as art director to the McCann Erickson advertising agency in Venezuela, where he became interested in the effect of color in advertising. In 1955–1956 he visited Paris and Barcelona, where theories of geometric abstraction, scientific color theory, and Bauhaus ideas on the integration of the arts and crafts caught his interest. On returning to Caracas he opened the Estudio de Artes Visuales, where he began to investigate the role of color in kinetic art. Cruz-Diez gained wide experience in advertising, industrial applications of color, cinema, and photographic and photo-mechanical processes, and studied the work of Georges Seurat, Josef Albers, and Edwin H. Land’s scientific ideas on color perception. These inspirations led him to research the phenomenological and psychological effects of color on the viewer, and most importantly, the shifting condition of the chromatic experience as it takes place in real time. Attempting to free color from its symbolic, esoteric, or cultural implications throughout history, Cruz-Diez transformed the plane into a succession of color parallels that he placed vertically across the surface of the work, allowing the viewer to look at the piece from different angles. This experiment gave birth to ...