Over the past few years, Miami has seen the emergence of immersive – and, let’s face it, Instagram-friendly – art spaces such as Superblue, Artechouse, and the many Van Gogh pop-up experiences. The latest installation from the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), “Chromosaturation” by Carlos Cruz-Diez, reminds viewers that immersive art experiences are not just the trend of the moment, but were developed in the 1960s, launched by Cruz-Diez’s experiments with color, kinetic and optical art .
Designed by the Venezuelan artist in 1965, “Chromosaturation” consists of three flowing chambers composed of red, green and blue hues, inviting guests to immerse themselves in the artificial environment of monochromatic lights. The saturated chambers are an experience on the viewer’s retina – dive in long enough, and your perception of the space and objects around you will shift as color engulfs each of your beings.
The installation, inaugurated last month, was acquired by the museum in 2020, a year after Cruz-Diez died in his adopted city of Paris at the age of 95.
“He devoted his life to research and reflection on color and was very systematic,” says Iberia Pérez González, coordinator of the museum’s Andrew W. Mellon Caribbean Cultural Institute and organizer of the installation alongside the Former Director of Conservation Affairs René Morales. “His aim was to detach color from form and material medium, and this work is considered his accomplishment.”
Although the museum’s liveliest exhibition is currently “Marisol and Warhol Take New York”, Pérez González points out that “Chromosaturation”, alongside “Penetravel Macaleia” (1978) by Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica (the first to coin the term “Tropicalia”), and the famous “blue strings” of the outdoor installation “Penetrable BBL Blue” by Jesús Rafael Soto (another Venezuelan pioneer of kinetic art and colleague of Cruz-Diez) are all exciting and fortuitous steps towards projections immersive or experiential at the PAMM.
“These are three artists who are very interested in similar things, in particular involving the viewer much more, trying to challenge basic understandings of painting and wanting to go beyond the frame of the image. to expand their work beyond form,” says Pérez González. . “All three of them were interested in ideas around color, and in one way or another they all developed those ideas in a different way. So I think it’s very interesting that we have those three immersive installations at the same time by three artists who were very important, working in the mid-60s and 70s in similar concerns.”
The acquisition of “Chromosaturation”, made possible by funds from Jorge M. Pérez, is an important addition to the museum’s permanent collection and ongoing commitment to present exhibitions of works by artists from Latin America, the Caribbean and the African Diaspora.
Beyond Cruz-Diez’s ability to project color into the space with “Chromosaturation,” the rooms’ colorful aesthetic unwittingly created the perfect aesthetic for taking psychedelic selfies for the ‘Gram — but don’t let that fool you. not distracted by your phone and do not miss the visual effects that the installation only offers in total immersion and participation.
“There’s definitely an experiential aspect to the job that anyone can enjoy as long as they’re curious enough to spend enough time trying to see how these changes happen instead of walking in, taking a selfie and leaving. “, adds Pérez González. .
“Chromosaturation.” On view at Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-375-3000; pamm.org. Tickets are $16.