Physichromie #17, 1960
...soon afterward he turned his attention to new strains of geometric abstraction, including Op art, and to kinetic art. He began experimenting with the optical illusion of motion in painting using color as a primary element. In a series called “Physichromie” he combined painting with sculptural relief, fixing vertical strips of painted wood or paper perpendicular to a flat ground. Viewers moving in front of the works had the sensation of seeing the chromatic field shimmer and change, an effect at once gimmicky and magical.
There are several “Fisicromías” (“Physichromies”) in the Americas Society show, which was organized by Estrellita B. Brodsky, Isabella Villanueva and Gabriela Rangel. But the centerpiece is the walk-in environment called “Cromosaturación” (“Chromosaturation”). First created in 1968, it consists of a white-box enclosure, about the size of a small studio apartment, divided into sections, with each bathed in lights of blended colors. So intense is the light that the colors seem to be felt rather than seen, like heat. The sensation is slightly disorienting, dizzying, as if gravity had been tampered with. (src)
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