OPT ART

Op Art – A twentieth century art movement and style in which artists sought to create an impression of movement on the picture surface by means of optical illusion. It is derived from, and is also known as Optical Art and Perceptual Abstraction. In the 1960s art world, some critics faulted Op Art’s persistent involvement with optical illusion at a time when “the flatness of the picture plane” was the mantra on either side of the Color FieldMinimalist aisle. Clement Greenberg saw flatness as painting’s essence. Donald Judd saw it as an escape route into three dimensions.
Foto: Vega Multi, 1976 Folk-Lor, 1973 Torony-Nagy, 1969
Foto: Vega Multi, 1976 Folk-Lor, 1973 Torony-Nagy, 1969

 

 


http://www.opartica.com/opartica/opartica800x600.html

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Examples of Op Art:

see thumbnail to right

Maurits Cornelis Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972), Balcony, 1945, lithograph, 11 3/4 x 9 1/4 inches (29.7 x 23.4 cm), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. In the center of this picture of a hillside town, Escher said he tried to break up the paper’s flatness by “pretend[ing] to give it a blow with my fist at the back, but . . . the paper remains flat, and I have only created the illusion of an illusion.”

 

Here three worlds, each with their own gravitational forces exist simultaneously, operating perpendicularly to one other.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftMaurits Cornelis Escher, Convex and Concave, 1955, lithograph. See convex and concave.

 

 

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightMaurits Cornelis Escher, Belvedere, 1958, lithograph, 8 1/4 x 11 5/8 inches (462 x 295 mm), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. This belvedere has three stories, but its drawing results in an optical illusion. Escher has employed a hybrid of linear perspective that produces a mixture of two possibilities. Note how the pillars connect the second to the third story.

 

 

see thumbnail to leftMaurits Cornelis Escher, Waterfall, 1961, lithograph,15 x 11 3/4 inches (380 x 300 mm).

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightVictor Vasarely (French, born Hungary, 1908-1997), Basilan II, 1951-1958, acrylic paint, 60 cm x 65 cm, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran. Vasarel’s geometric paintings of the 1950s moved gradually toward optical art.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftVictor Vasarely, OB-NEG, 1955, oil on canvas, 140 cm x 220 cm, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran.

 

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightVictor Vasarely, Quasar-Fugue, 1966-1973, oil on canvas, 150.5 x 150.5 cm, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftVictor Vasarely, unidentified op art image, black and white.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightVictor Vasarely, Blue-Black.

 

 

see thumbnail to leftVictor Vasarely, Blue / Red, 1983, silkscreen, from an edition of 267, 23 x 23 inches (58.5 x 58.5 cm.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightVictor Vasarely, Zebra, 1987, silkscreen, from an edition of 200, sheet: 50 x 45 cm, print 38.5 x 35.4 cm.

 

 

Ad Reinhardt (American, 1913-1967), Black Painting No. 34, 1964, oil on canvas, 60 1/4 x 60 1/8 inches (1.530 x 1.526 m), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. See Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism.

 

 

Yaacov Agam (Israeli, 1928-), The Ninth Power, 1970-71, stainless steel, 70 3/4 x 70 x 70 inches, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. See Jewish art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightBridget Riley (British, 1931-), Intake.

 

see thumbnail to leftBridget Riley, Cataract.

 

 

see thumbnail to rightBridget Riley, June, 1992, silkscreen, edition of 75, 80 x 114.3 cms (31 1/2 x 45 inches).

 

 

 

Related Links:

  • Escher sites:
    • The official M.C. Escher Web site‘s biography of Escher points out that in addition to impossible figures, he designed postage stamps and tapestries, illustrated books and sometimes worked in three dimensions, carving wooden spheres. The best thing here is a 3-D multimedia section that flies a viewer around and through three of Escher’s most famous works. It was developed for a 1998 exhibition in the Netherlands, where, the site says, visitors stood for two hours to watch what can now be seen online: a vivid unraveling of how Escher fooled the eye by compressing multiple viewpoints into one.
    • The World of Escher is a Texas company founded in 1993. It has a gallery, a bibliography and a few Escher quotations, and essays by and about him. It sells a lot of Escher stuff too.

 

 

Also see optical illusion, Pop Art, tessellation, and trompe l’oeil.

 

ArtLex Art Dictionaryhttp://www.artlex.com
Copyright © 1996-current year Michael Delahunt

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