op art

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op art

(ŏp), movement that became prominent in the United States and Europe in the mid-1960s. Deriving from abstract expressionismabstract expressionism,
movement of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the mid-1940s and attained singular prominence in American art in the following decade; also called action painting and the New York school.
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, op art includes paintings concerned with surface kinetics. Colors were used to create visual effects, such as afterimages and trompe l'oeil. Vibrating colors, concentric circles, and pulsating moiré patterns were characteristic of op works by such artists as Victor VasarelyVasarely, Victor,
1908–97, French artist, one of the originators of op art, b. Pécs, Hungary. Educated at art institutes in Budapest, Vasarely was profoundly impacted by Bauhaus thought.
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, Richard Anusziewicz, Bridget RileyRiley, Bridget,
1931–, English painter. Associated with the pop art movement, Riley covers large canvases with interlocking bands, undulating curves, scattered discs, or repeated squares or triangles.
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, Yaacov Agam, Larry Poons, and Julian Stanczak. A comprehensive exhibition of op art, entitled "The Responsive Eye," was organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, in 1965.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Op Art


(also optical art), an avant-garde current in the fine arts in the 1960’s; one of the late modifications of abstract art. Op art’s origins lie in geometric abstractionism, which was represented initially by V. Vasarely (born 1908), a Hungarian who settled in France in 1930. Vasarely is considered to be the founder of op art. His first experiments in the style date to the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Op art is based on the rhythmic combination of fundamental geometric forms that are repeated many times and that contain one another. Linear, spatial, and color relationships constantly change, thus creating the optical illusion of the simultaneous recession and advancement of planes. Areas of color also seem to move. The optical and decorative effects of op art have been used in industrial graphics, poster art, printing, advertising, textile design, window dressing, and interior design.


Stoikov, A. “Chto takoe op-art?” In Iskusstvo, 1968, no. 12.
Kuz’mina, M. “Op-art.” In the collection Modernizm. Moscow, 1973. Pages 236–38.
Parola, R. Optical Art: Theory and Practice. New York-Amsterdam-London, 1969.
Barrett, C. Op Art. London, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It comprises 350 rooms which showcase Op Art design, with views of the Burj Khalifa and the coast.
Op Art swept through South America and began to be expressed in new ways by artists from Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Venezuela, without making much headway in Colombia and Mexico.
Which major figure in the Op Art movement of the 1960s had a solo show at the Walker?
This sapphire-blue and fuchsia Op art apparition, calling to mind Bridget Riley or Victor Vasarely, reveals another world entirely, the one where reality and fantasy collide, the most fragile world of all.
In fact, the varied designs reflect the influence of the Art Deco movement, nature and op art coupled with vintage fabrics and organic textures.
Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism, Pop Art, and Op Art.
Like op art, the boldness is hypnotic, eyes are outlined, and lips are striking.
Joe Houston's OPTIC NERVE: PERCEPTUAL ART OF THE 1960S (1858959892, $49.95) covers 'Op Art' or the fine art of perceptual abstraction, and is published to accompany the first major exhibition of Op Art in over twenty years.
Eight twentieth-century art styles are represented in this set: Regionalism, Abstract Expressionism, Color Field, Pop Art, Op Art, Minimalism, Photo Realism, and Installation Art.
op art Retro print satin fabric bag with a novel circular clasp covers new ground for classic Italian shoe (and now handbag) designer Salvatore Ferragamo.
EMBOSSED (right) 1 Heart motif paper, pounds 9.99 per roll, Graham & Brown (0800 328 8452) 2 Bathroom script paper, from a selection at Homebase (0870 900 8098) 3 Op Art in lilac, pounds 7.99 per roll, Crown Wallcoverings (0800 458 1554) 4 Mosaic in turquoise, pounds 9.99 per roll, Graham & Brown