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100 Highlights
of the MFAH
© 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Venezuelan, born 1923
Cromosaturación (Chromosaturation)
Three chromo-cubicles (fluorescent light with blue, red, and green filters)

120 x 120 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Gift of the Cruz-Diez Foundation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Arts of Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean

Chromosaturation is an artificial habitat created by three different color chambers: one red, one green, and one blue. The habitat envelops whomever enters in a totally tri-stimulus environment. The chromatic ambience created by these booths modifies the spectator’s perception of everything in the room, changing skin color, clothing, and objects. As one moves from color chamber to color chamber, the reminder of the previous visual saturation shocks the retina.

As the artist himself explains, “Chromosaturation chambers—or labyrinths—are a series of experiments that I have presented many times. When installed on sidewalks and in museums, schools, and galleries, they reach broad audiences, stimulating perceptions of color. Contrary to nature, in which color is 'relative' and thus altered by its environment, color here is revealed in its 'crude' state.

"The disruption created by such a monochromatic experience—in the spectator’s retina, accustomed as it is to seeing a broad spectrum of colors—acts as a detonator. This, in turn, leads the spectator to the idea that color is a material, physical situation, and to an awareness that color exists in space without the help of form, and in fact with no support at all, regardless of existing cultural conventions.”