What is Opart?
In the 1960s, the Op art movement, also called optical art, a new branch of geometric abstract art that deals with optical illusion. This movement allowed a great development in painting by using geometric shapes to create optical effects, ambiguities and contradictions in the viewer's vision. Through the systematic and precise manipulation of shapes and colors, Op art effects are created, based on the illusion of perspective or chromatic tension. In painting it has been the main medium used by artists due to surface tension generally being maximized to the point where an actual pulsation or flicker is perceived by the human eye. Op art is indirectly related to other movements that emerged during the 20th century, such as Orphism, Constructivism, Suprematism and Futurism, through its concern with totally abstract formal relations with an emphasis on movement and pictorial dynamism. The main artists of the Op art movement, were Victor Vasarely , Bridget Riley, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Larry Poons and Jeffrey Steele. The movement first attracted international attention with the Op exhibition “The Responsive Eye” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965. Artists created complex and paradoxical optical spaces through the illusory manipulation of simple repetitive shapes such as parallel lines, checkerboard patterns and concentric circles or create chromatic tension by juxtaposing complementary (chromatically opposite) colors of equal intensity.
Victor Vasarely he initially worked as a graphic artist in Budapest and later in France, where he produced advertising posters for large companies. In 1937, he created several works, including "Zebra", the artwork considered by critics to be the first true Op art painting ever created. Thus, the Franco-Hungarian artist has been credited as the grandfather and leader of the Op Art movement. Using geometric shapes and colorful graphics, the artist created convincing illusions of spatial depth, as can be seen in the work Vega-Nor (1969). Vasarely's painting method was influenced by the design principles of the Bauhaus, Wassily Kandinsky and constructivism. During the 1940s, he experimented with a style based on surrealism and abstract expressionism, before arriving at his paintings. The artist died at the age of 90 on March 15, 1997 in Paris, France. His works are currently in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tate Gallery in London and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
Bridget Riley is a British artist known for her unique Op Art paintings. By combining clean lines, color arrangements and geometric precision, he was able to create visually appealing visual effects, as in “Cataract 3” (1967). In his works, there is admiration for the pointillist Georges Seurat for the use of gradients and variations in tone. “The eye can travel over the surface parallel to the way it moves over nature. It should feel caressed and soothed, experience rubbing and breaking, slipping and drifting. One moment there will be nothing to look at and the next second the screen seems to fill up again, to be full of visual events.” stated the artist about her work. Born on April 24, 1931 in London, United Kingdom, she studied at Goldsmiths College from 1949 to 1952 and at the Royal College of Art from 1952 to 1955. In the following years, the artist began experimenting with the color effects developed by Georges Seurat in nineteenth century, leading it to the practice for which it is known today. He currently lives and works in London, UK. His works are currently in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Tate Gallery in London and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
Richard Anuszkiewicz was an American contemporary artist best known for his fascinating Op Art paintings. Anuszkiewicz's works are saturated with vibrant colors arranged in abstract geometric compositions, formally exploring the phenomena of light, color and line and their effects on human perception. “I'm interested in making something romantic out of very, very mechanistic geometry. Geometry and color represent for me an idealized classic place that is very clear and very pure,” said Anuskiewicz. Among his most famous works is Deep Magenta Square (1978), a hypnotic composition that presents the illusion of oscillating movement through contrasting color relationships. His work was well received in the 1960s and earned him inclusion in the Venice Biennale and Documenta, as well as numerous honors, including the 2000 Lee Krasner Prize. May, just four days before his 90th birthday.
Felipe Pantone is an Argentine-Spanish artist who demonstrates dynamism, transformation, digital revolution and themes related to current times in his works. Felipe Pantone He evokes a spirit in his work that feels like a collision between an analogue past and a digitized future, where humans and machines inevitably mingle in a prism of neon gradients, geometric shapes, optical patterns and irregular grids. “Color only happens because of light, and light is the only reason life happens. Light and color are the very essence of visual art. Thanks to television, computers and modern lighting, our perception of light and color has completely changed," he said. Felipe Pantone. For the Argentine-Spanish artist, his creations are a meditation on the ways in which we consume visual information. Victor Vasarely and Carlos Cruz-Diez were some of the artists who inspired him. His work is conceived in different software and later translated into frescoes, murals, paintings and sculptures that give tactile merit to what happens in the digital world. “I grew up as a painter, I trained as a painter, and now my biggest goal is to get rid of all my academic training and be able to make art freely, with the tools that work best for me,” he said. Felipe Pantone. Whether exhibiting in galleries around the world or painting murals in Portugal, the applications of Felipe Pantone are always united by the intersection of technology and the fine arts.