Op Art

By Margaret Houghton

The work of a new group of abstract painters was termed “Op Art.”

It was so called because of its illusionary characteristics. It captured and held the eye so that lines, rings, shapes put together, looked as if they were moving. It could, in fact, make one feel quite dizzy.

The correct name for Op art is Optical Art because of its effect on the eye, with the illusion of movement, colour, and the imaginary increase in size. Op art works are purely abstract with many of the well known works in black and white.

Op art was reviewed in Time Magazine in 1964. See the work ‘ Zebra’ of Victor Vasarely which was painted much earlier. It consists of diagonal black and white lines, curving. The effect is distinctly three dimensional showing a a seated zebra. (Victor Varsarely was a Hungarian born, French artist.)

In 1965, The Responsive Eye exhibition in New York was exclusively Op art. The movement and its artists naturally became more important and popular. Op art also lent itself to commercial contexts.

Bridget Riley was one of the foremost Op artists. Her works were black and white lines, with no hint of any real objects, but showing much movement which, and illusionary colour. (Bridget Riley was a British abstract painter.)

Copyright: Margaret Houghton

Margaret Houghton graduated in Fine Art from the Western Australian Institute of Technology in 1982 , majoring in painting. She prefers acrylics to oil paints. Recently, she turned her attention to writing ezine articles.http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Margaret_Houghton

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