OP ART ~ Art History Presentation ~ 157 Slides ~ Highly Visual
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EXCERPT: BULLET POINTS FROM OP ART OVERVIEW
style of abstract art which uses optical illusions and the interaction of color relationships.
viewer seems to see movement within the art work when there is none.
foreground and background are placed into juxtaposition.
vibrating patterns, swelling and warping are frequently used illusions.
followed Bauhaus use of color: concentrating on the effects colors had on the viewer’s eye.
Op Art’s years of greatest success were in the mid-1960s.
As a movement it would not survive the late 1960s but artists continued to paint it and architects continued to build it.
Most of the Op Artists stuck with it till their dying days (end of 20th century or start of 21st).
“Theory of Colors” by Goethe gives the cornerstone of op art with the principle: “at the edge, where light and dark meet, color arises.”
Floyd Ratliff’s book, “The Theory of Color and the Practice of Painting” presents these 3 color theories used by Op Art: simultaneous contrast; successive contrast; and reverse contrast (or assimilation).
There was first a French Exhibition called “Le Mouvement", a group exhibition at Galerie Denise Rene in 1955.
in 1964 in America, Julian Stanczak's show, “Optical Paintings at the Martha Jackson Gallery”, was the leading edge event to push the movement forward into the mainstream.
in the post WWII art world, an art movement had to succeed in New York as it was now the art capital, not Paris.
Time Magazine called the movement “Op Art” after covering that show.
artists intended on calling it Perceptual Art but, once Time Magazine coined the term Op Art, nothing could dislodge it.
next important show was “The Responsive Eye”, in 1965 at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).
With attendance of over 180,000 at the MOMA exhibit, Op Art became an immediate and enormous hit with the public.
Critics did not like Op Art, dismissing it as just clever visual tricks.
Op Art had this high-brow aversion coupled with massive popular appeal.
Art critic Clement Greenberg was vehemently opposed to the movement.
Critics’ scorn grew worse as fashion industry adopted Op Art for seemingly every product it had (see next slide).
timing for Op Art was right as this was the psychedelic 1960s. The music, fashion and drug use, especially LSD, fit in with Op Art. Altering reality and perception was all the rage (slide after next).
EXCERPTS, ARTIST PROFILES:
1. JULIAN STANCZAK, born in Borownica, Poland in 1928
American painter and printmaker.
lives and works in Seven Hills, Ohio (Cleveland)
Education: BFA Cleveland Institute of Art; MFA, Yale University School of Art and Architecture, where he studied under Josef Albers and Conrad Marca-Relli.
was right handed and lost use of right arm in Siberia during WWII. Had to teach himself how to paint with his left arm and hand.
The Op Art movement was named after his first major show, Julian Stanczak: Optical Paintings, held at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York in 1964.
work was included in the Museum of Modern Art's 1965 exhibition The Responsive Eye.
2. CARLOS CRUZ-DIEZ, born 1923
Venezuelan kinetic and op artist.
alternates between living, working and teaching in Paris and Caracas.
Cruz-Diez’s Op Art was popular with the political elite in Venezuela in the post WWII era because his art lacked political message. Venezuela was a military dictatorship then.
viewer actively participates in viewing Cruz-Diez’s work because color changes and seems to move as the position of the viewer changes.
Cruz-Diez refers to this changing effect as “vibrations.”
3. OMAR RAYO REYES, 1928 – 2010
renowned Colombian painter, sculptor, and caricaturist.
worked with abstract geometry
was part of the Op Art movement.
celebrated exhibition at the Palace of Fine Arts of Mexico: "20 years, 100 works: Omar Rayo.”
used traces of past in his geometric art.
established his own museum with the help of the Columbian government known as Rayo Museum of Drawing and Engraving Latin America