Carlos Cruz-Diez, the Venezuelan artist known for works that combine color, form and light in mind-boggling ways, will have an installation on the streets outside the Broad museum in conjunction with Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.
"Couleur Additive" will take over the crosswalks at Grand Avenue and 2nd Street in downtown Los Angeles after Labor Day. The Broad commissioned the work for PST: LA/LA, the Getty Foundation-funded exhibition series that is bringing work by Latino and Latin American artists to institutions around Southern California.
As part of the project, students from the nearby Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts will help install the work on the crosswalks that join the Broad to Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Colburn School.
"That was important to us and to the artist," says Ed Schad, the Broad curator who helped oversee the project. "When Cruz-Diez did a crosswalk project in Guatemala, he got the community involved."
The artist, who was born in Venezuela and has lived and worked in Paris since the 1960s, is considered a pioneer of kinetic and optical art, movements that toy with the sensory nature of light, movement and color. His work will figure prominently in the exhibition "Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969," to be held at the Palm Springs Art Museum beginning Aug. 26 — a show that is also part of PST: LA/LA.
"His paintings deal with moments of color interaction as it progresses across a canvas," Schad says. "What fascinates me is that he could translate that from a two-dimensional painting into an active environment on the street."
Cruz-Diez has created crosswalk installations in the United States, in cities including Miami and Houston. But the work at Grand Avenue will represent his first such intervention on the West Coast.
The artist, 94, will not travel to L.A. to oversee the work's creation. But a team from his studio will help guide installation, which will take place for three nights over Labor Day weekend.
"Couleur Additive" officially opens to the public on Sept. 5.