Cruz-Diez worked as a graphic designer in advertising after having studied at at Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas from 1940 to 1945, where he and colleagues Jesús Rafael Soto and Alejandro Otero led the Venezuelan Kinetic Art movement. The artist’s study of French Impressionism and its use of color and light influenced Cruz-Diez, leading to his first solo exhibition in Caracas, where he exhibited his gouache paintings.
Cruz-Diez established a workshop in an old butcher shop in 1971 in Paris on the Rue Pierre Sémard, and was there until 2016, when he located to a larger space nearby. In a press release from Sicardi|Ayers|Bancino, Cruz-Diez is quoted in response to his series of projects, Physichromies, Chromosaturations, and Chromo-interference Environments: “That reality (which I consider visible) leads us along other paths, both perceptive and sensory, to parallel ideas of beauty and sublimation.”
Among the many public collections that hold Cruz-Diez’s work, including the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin, and Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the work can also be seen in Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; the Collection of Latin American Art at the University of Essex, Colchester, UK; the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK; Galeria de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela; Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France; Musée de Grenoble, France; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Bogotá, Colombia; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Tate Gallery, London, UK; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.