Venezuelan painter and *Kinetic artist, resident in Paris since 1960. He was born in Caracas, where he studied at the School of Fine Arts, 1940–45, and from 1946 to 1951 he was director of the Venezuelan branch of the McCann Erickson Advertising Agency. In 1953–5 he was an illustrator for the newspaper El Nacional and taught typography, and in 1955–6 he lived in Spain; he made two visits to Paris during his stay in Europe and it was at this time that he became interested in optical phenomena.
He returned to Venezuela in 1957 and became assistant director of the School of Fine Arts in Caracas and professor of typographical design at the Central University of Venuezuela. In 1960 he settled in Paris, where he became friendly with other Latin American artists, notably his fellow Kineticist *Soto, and continued the experiments with arrangements of primary colours he had started during his earlier visits. Using arrangements of thin intersecting bands he found he could create the illusion of a third or fourth colour. This led to a series of works entitled Chromatic Induction, Chromointerference, Additive, and Physichromie. In the last—low reliefs which he started making in 1959—he created shifting geometric images that emerge, intensify, change, and dematerialize as the viewer moves in front of them. He achieved this effect by using narrow strips of painted metal or plastic arranged in parallel lines or at right angles to each other (Physichromie 113, 1963, reconstructed by the artist 1976, Tate). His work has been featured in many international exhibitions and he has won several awards, including the International Painting Prize at the São Paulo *Bienal in 1967. He represented Venezuela at the 1970 Venice Biennale. His later work has included architectural installations, or ‘chromatic environments’ as he calls them, in public buildings.
Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)