Catalogue entry

Carlos Cruz-Diez born 1923

T02094 Physichromie 113 1963 (reconstructed 1976)

Inscribed 'PHYSICHROMIE 113 | CRUZ-DIEZ | PARIS 1963 CD | 100 x 100cm | RECONSTRUCTION: JUIN 1976' on an aluminium plate attached to the back
Painted and polished aluminium and stainless steel construction, 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 (100 x 101)
Presented by the artist 1976

The term 'Physichromie' is a nealogism invented by Cruz-Diez from the words 'physical chromatism' to denote his low reliefs in which colours are placed in parallel strips and also at right angles to each other, so that they blend in the spectator's vision and so that the appearance of the work changes as the spectator shifts his viewpoint from one side to the other. It refers to colour as a fact of perception and not as a description of form, as had been the traditional approach.

T02094 was made in June 1976 as a reconstruction of a work of 1963. The artist writes (letter of 5 October 1977) that 'Physichromie 113' is the product of his researches made in Paris in 1963, in which he attempted to heighten the effect of 'colour reflection' which was the basis of his 'Physichromies' of 1959. It is the first work in which he used mirror-struts. He still has a maquette of 15 x 15cm which was used to make several versions of different formats. Unfortunately the material known as Lumaline used to obtain the mirror effect has deteriorated badly with time, and almost all these works have been demolished or are now in a very poor state. He is at present remaking the works of this period with solid materials and with his new technique so that they will be in a lasting form.

The version owned by the Tate is made out of inverted U-shaped pieces of aluminium, prepared with a coat of priming, a coat of white acrylic paint (Flashe) and screen-printed with ordinary matt inks. The mirror-struts interpolated between them are in stainless steel, polished on both sides.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.136, reproduced p.136