op art

op-art, adj.op artist.
a style of abstract art in which lines, forms, and space are organized in such a way as to provide optical illusions of an ambiguous nature, as alternately advancing and receding squares on a flat surface. Also, Op Art. Also called op, optical art.
[1960-65; OP(TICAL)]

* * *

or Optical art

Branch of mid-20th-century geometric abstract art that deals with optical illusion.

Op art painters devised complex optical spaces by manipulating repetitive forms such as parallel lines, checkerboard patterns, and concentric circles or by creating chromatic tension from the juxtaposition of complementary colours, thereby creating the illusion of movement. Principal artists of the Op movement in the late 1950s and the '60s include Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley (b. 1931), and Larry Poons (b. 1937).

* * *

also called  optical art 

      branch of mid-20th-century geometric, abstract art that deals with optical illusion. Achieved through the systematic and precise manipulation of shapes and colours, the effects of Op art can be based either on perspective illusion or on chromatic tension; in painting, the dominant medium of Op art, the surface tension is usually maximized to the point at which an actual pulsation or flickering is perceived by the human eye. In its concern with utterly abstract formal relationships Op art is indirectly related to such other 20th-century styles as Orphism, Constructivism, Suprematism, and Futurism—particularly the latter because of its emphasis on pictorial movement and dynamism. Op painters differed from earlier artists working in geometric styles, however, in their purposeful manipulation of formal relationships in order to evoke perceptual illusions, ambiguities, and contradictions in the vision of the viewer.

      The principal artists of the Op movement as it emerged in the late 1950s and '60s were Victor Vasarely (Vasarely, Victor), 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 City in 1965. Op art painters devised complex and paradoxical optical spaces through the illusory manipulation of such simple repetitive forms as parallel lines, checkerboard patterns, and concentric circles or by creating chromatic tension from the juxtaposition of complementary (chromatically opposite) colours of equal intensity. These spaces create the illusion of movement, preventing the viewer's eye from resting long enough on any one part of the surface to be able to interpret it literally. “Op art works exist,” according to one writer, “less as objects than as generators of perceptual responses.”

      Op art goals were shared by the French Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel (“Group for Research in the Visual Arts”) and by the Chilean-born artist Jesus Raphael Soto. These artists made large-scale Op sculptures that employ light and motors, as well as sculptural materials, to create the illusion of movement in space that is fundamental to all Op art.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • art —    For numerous reasons, the most difficult word to define without starting endless argument! Many definitions have been proposed. At least art involves a degree of human involvement through manual skills or thought as with the word artificial,… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • art conservator —    In art conservation, a person who applies science to the technical study, preservation and treatment of art objects. A professional art conservator should be consulted about the display, storage, and preservation of special objects; about the… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • art brut —    French for raw art, Jean Dubuffet (1901 1985) devised this name in 1945 for the art of children and outsiders (naïve artists and the mentally ill); actually, anyone not producing art for profit or recognition. Because they did not adhere to… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • art world or artworld —    Members of an art centered group of people. Characteristic of artworlds are its people, places, activities, ideas, and times in history. The artworld that speakers first acknowledged includes everyone involved in art. Although this set of art… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. —    (ACMI)    This is an international association whose members are over 210 art and creative (read: craft?) material manufacturers. Founded in 1940, ACMI is an authority on art and craft materials. Its principal goal is to assist its members in… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • art therapy —    The therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma, or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • art district or arts district —    A section of a community in which art galleries are situated near other art galleries, art museums, theaters, and music halls …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • art for art's sake —    Any of several points of view related to the possibility of art being independent of concerns that order other disciplines. The term is primarily used regarding artists and artwriters of the second half of the nineteenth century, especially… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • art critic —    Among those in art careers, a person who describes, analyzes, interprets, evaluates, and expresses judgments of the merits, faults and value of artworks. One who produces art criticism …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • art criticism —    The description, analysis, evaluation, interpretation, and judgment of works of art. It is a common assumption that criticism is necessarily negative, when actually it can vary in degrees of positive as well as negative remarks. Critical… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • art director —    Among those in art careers, a person who directs or supervises the work of other artists. Also see applied arts, commercial art, graphic design, and specifications …   Glossary of Art Terms

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.