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Art History Resources: (Artists, Art Movements, Biographies, Artwork)

Art History: Op Art: (1950 - 1965)

Op Art relies on optical illusions and is sometimes called optical art or retinal art. Op painters and sculptors used geometric designs in order to create feelings of movement or vibration, sometimes in vibrant colors and other times in simply black and white. The movement had its origins in the work of Victor Vasarely, who created tessellations and work with shocking perspectives. It also developed from the Abstract Expressionist movement that discredited the importance of subject matter. The term was coined in 1964 by Time magazine. A major Op Art exhibit in 1965, titled ďThe Responsive Eye,?caught the public interest. As a result, the style began appearing in print, television, advertising, album art, fashion, and interior decorating. Despite Op Artís popularity, it never became a full-fledged mass movement of modern art like Pop Art.

Op Artís primary goal was to fool the eye. Works were composed to create the illusion of movement, although all Op Art pieces were flat and two-dimensional. Based on geometry, Op Art is almost completely non-representational. The color, line, and shapes were chosen for the purposes of illusion and not to evoke any emotion or mood. Colors and perspective and chosen carefully to achieve the desired effect, and both positive and negative spaces are of equal importance in the composition.

Artists: (biography & artworks) Related Paintings Reproductions

Lohse, Richard Paul - 1902 - 1988
Mack, Heinz - -
Riley, Bridget - 1931 -
Vasarely, Victor - 1908 - 1997


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