Get lost in the color & light of Carlos Cruz-Diez’s Cistern: Spatial Chromointerference

carlos-cruz-diez-buffalo-bayou-cistern-spatial-chromointerference
Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern: Spatial Chromointerference | Photo: Paul Hester, courtesy of Buffalo Bayou Partnership

Experience the dazzling light artwork of Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern: Spatial Chromointerference in Buffalo Bayou Park, debuting Saturday, May 12, 2018.

For more than 60 years, Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez has explored the relationships between color, line, and perception in artwork big and small. When interacting with his work, there is a moment of surprise as the carefully arranged field of color shifts and transforms in response to movement by the viewer.

Aside from his popular museum pieces, the 94-year old also relishes the opportunity to bring his work into public spaces.

His newest site-specific artwork, Spatial Chromointerference, exhibits incredibly well with the underground architecture of the Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park.

carlos-cruz-diez-buffalo-bayou-cistern-spatial-chromointerference
Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern: Spatial Chromointerference | Photo: Paul Hester, courtesy of Buffalo Bayou Partnership

Inside the Cistern

Within the former city reservoir, thirty projectors dot the perimeter walkway, creating a complex tapestry of shifting color, light, and line. Reflections bounce from the standing water in the Cistern, bright colors turn dark in a flash, and the colossal columns begin to lose their shapes among the expansive field of projections.

The artwork isn’t restricted to the interior columns, however, and viewers will be able to move through projection fields in each corner of the walkway. To get the most out of this experience, visitors are encouraged to wear white or light-colored clothing but white lab coats will be available for those who also want to get lost in color and line.

carlos-cruz-diez-buffalo-bayou-cistern-spatial-chromointerference
Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern: Spatial Chromointerference | Photo: Paul Hester, courtesy of Buffalo Bayou Partnership

Let There Be Light

The Cistern project integrates Cruz-Diez’s 1974 Spatial Chromointerference projection in a new environment, replete with its own technical challenges that are resolved thanks to the on-site help of Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jr.

Following long days of color adjustments, adaptations, and FaceTime calls with his father, Cruz-Diez, Jr. was instrumental in bringing the famed artist’s work to one of Houston’s most unique spaces.

Since opening to the public in May 2016, the underground water reservoir has blossomed as an intriguing architectural space that is now hosting its second major artwork. The first was Magdalena Fernández’s “Rain” in late 2016.

Carlos Cruz-Diez’s Spatial Chromointerference is on view from Saturday, May 12, 2018 through Sunday, January 13, 2019.

Tips for Visiting

Tours take place every 30 minutes and reservations are required for this timed tour (even on free Thursdays).

Tickets can be purchased online or at the Buffalo Bayou Visitor Center next to the Cistern.

Please note that children under the age of 9 are not permitted in the Cistern.

Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern: Spatial Chromointerference

carlos-cruz-diez-buffalo-bayou-cistern-spatial-chromointerference
Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern: Spatial Chromointerference | Photo: Paul Hester, courtesy of Buffalo Bayou Partnership