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.

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
We don't have the original artwork from [Vasarely], but all the artwork we have are optical art pieces," he explains.
The S3D projector closes the last gap in our workflow," says Optical Art CEO Christian Burgdorff.
PATTERNS: Optical art by Victor Vasarely is on display at the White Room, Leamington.
With optical art, the rules that the eye applies to makes sense of a visual image are themselves the ``subject'' of the artwork.
He was a pioneer of optical art, al-thoughe pursued it in a less hardcore style than its best-known British exponent, Bridget Riley.
Quaytman appears to have been contending with the fraught history of optical art and its range of connotations, from Riley to psychedelic novelty to psychological experiment.
In addition to representational art, a particular strength of MoLAA's permanent collection, La Presencia also exhibited works representing geometric and optical art, pop and neo-pop art, conceptual art, and new trends, which showcased photography and video-based works.
Intersections includes 88 wall-mounted pieces that range from digital paintings and collages to new forms of art including "motion painting," algorithmic images, LED optical art, robotics, electronic fiber art, and 3D animated Lenticular prints.
Uecker's internationally acclaimed body of work ranges from optical art, to sculpture to installation.
The intensity of the 2001 Lunapark, a relentless optical Art Nouveau, the subtle Aboriginal strangeness of Sanctuary, 2002, and the hallucinatory Cape Sinope, 2006-2007, with its profuse overlays of Pacific Northwest Indian imagery and totemic structure, can all be related to the artist's understanding of a heightened visual state of mind and our sense of being bound to the past.

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