* 1923 Caracas
† 2019 Paris
Carlos Cruz-Diez was born on August 17, 1923 in Caracas, Venezuela. From 1940 until 1945, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Caracas. Following this, his works primarily display a realistic style of painting. Also during this time, Cruz-Diez worked as a graphic artist for various companies, later holding the position of art director for the advertising agency McCann-Erickson in Caracas. This is when he became interested in the effective uses of color. From 1953 to 1955, Cruz-Diez was an illustrator for the "El National" newspaper, while also teaching art history at the academy of fine arts in Caracas. In 1955, he went for two years to Barcelona, also traveling to Paris several times and immersing himself in the theories of the Bauhaus school of architecture. He also studied scientific theories of color as well as geometric abstractions. After returning to Venezuela, Cruz-Diez opened the Studio for Visual Art, where he investigated the interaction of color and kinetic art. Carlos Cruz-Diez worked as acting director and professor of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of Caracas and as professor for typology and graphic design for the School of Journalism at the university in Caracas. In 1960, Cruz-Diez went to Paris again, where he worked as advisor of the cultural center of Noroit in Arras from 1965 and as lecturer for kinetic techniques at the Ecole Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris from 1972. He was appointed professor and director of the art department of IDEA - Institut International d'Etudes Avancées in Caracas in 1986. Cruz-Diez is considered one of the most important artists of Venezuela and has been honored with many awards.