- Slides: 32
Op Art 1960 -1965 Op art (Optical art) is an abstract art based on mathematics. Usually, simple forms are repeated and along with colors often to create vibrating effects or what is called a moire (more-ay) pattern (French meaning wavy or watered appearance).
Victor Vasarely 1908 – 1997 Hungarian French artist Victor was born in Hungary on April 9 th, 1908 He is known as the founder of optical art. In 1925, Vasarely was accepted to the University of Budapest’s School of Medicine. Two years later, in 1927, he changed directions completely and decided to pursue a career in art. • For the next two years, Vasarely studied traditional academic painting at the private Podolini-Volkmann Academy. • In 1929, he enrolled in The Bauhaus Muhely Academy where he was influenced by the goals of the original Bauhaus. The basic concepts of the teaching were that all the ar and crafts and architecture should achieve a unity of purpose based on the cube, the rectangle and the circle. • In 1930, Vasarely moved to Paris (the center of the art world at this time) and was • successful as a graphic designer. • In 1954, Vasarely began designing murals of metal and ceramic, mainly for buildings in France. • He also designed the official spiral-shaped logo of the 20 th Olympic games in Munich. • • •
Vasarely’s graphic studies of the 1930’s were inspired by his fascination with linear patterning. He drew figurative and abstract patterned subjects, such as harlequins, checkers, tigers, and zebras. During this period, Vasarely also created multi-dimensional works of art by super-imposing patterned layers of cellophane on one another to attain the illusion of depth.
In the 40’s, Vasarely explored the optical and emotional scope of different graphic techniques leading to his understanding that geometric forms could evoke a sensory perception conveying new ideas of space, matter and energy. Vasarely was inspired by the Belle-Isle coastal landscape where he noted pebbles and shells on the coast and how the sun became flattened as it set over the sea. He learned that pure form and relationships could signify the world. One can see the sun, the clouds, the pebbles and the waves thus creating a feeling of the ocean through abstracted forms.
Between 1951 and 1958 Victor continued working with geometric shapes and also began to paint predominantly in black and white. His black and white linear compositions were inspired by studies in Geography of the 1920's (isobar lines), photography and his use of positive and negative.
Vega, named after the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, is a checkerboard made up of squares. As the lines bend the squares become distorted causing the surface to appear to move – expanding, contracting and undulating. Vega - Victor Vasarely 1957 Acrylic on canvas 195 x 130 cm
Vasarely’s artwork of the 60’s was inspired by color, form, along with his studies in line and how these elements create movement. Alphabet VB - Victor Vasarely 1960 Acrylic on canvas 160 x 150 cm Bora III - Victor Vasarely 1964 Oil on canvas 149 x 141 cm
Over the coming years Vasarely created several distinct series of works which were to cement his status. 1. ‘Vonal’ series – where he revisited his earlier line studies and graphic work but this time in full use of color. 2. ‘Vega’ series – paintings based on spherical distortions 3. ‘Gestalt’ series – a series of 3 -d shapes composed of cubes that confuse the viewer visually
‘Vonal’ Series Continuing his studies on motion and perception, Vasarely goes back to the drawing board during his Vonal period [1964 -1970] when linear work on zebras, grids and the origins of his black & white period reappears, this time with color. A kinetic element and a spatial dimension are added with repeating lines which decrease in proportion as the viewer looks into the center of the piece.
‘Vonal’ Series In Vonal-Stri, the feeling of movement and depth are created using lines of decreasing scale advancing towards the center of the canvas – the further in we look to the center, the further away the field appears to be from us. The use of changing colors across the field also serves to provide the viewer with the feeling of kinetic energy, depth and space.
‘Vega’ Series In 1968, playing with the distortion of lines, Vasarely defined his “universal structures” and enlisted in the popular “Vega” period in which the swelling caused by the deformation of elements results in forms that appear to bulge out from the piece and create spectacular volumes. Through such works as “Feny” (1963), “Vega Tek” (1968) and “Vega 200” (1968), the artist evokes the elusive universe.
The ‘Vega’ paintings are based on spherical distortions to a polychromatic grid. The surface appears to have been warped, giving the feeling of something trying either to break out or to recede back into the depths of the surface. Vega-Nor - Victor Vasarely 1969 Acrylic on Canvas 200 x 200 cm
‘Gestalt’ Series The paintings in this series are characterized by solid, yet ethereal and seemingly impossible three-dimensional shapes composed of cubes and cellular structures that confuse the viewer visually. Keple-Gestalt - Victor Vasarely, 1968 Acrylic on canvas 160 x 160 cm Vasarely makes full use of variations in color to further the illusion of space, light, and structure.
‘Gestalt’ Series Gestalt, 1980 Gestalt-Rugo, 1978
The third series crosses over into Vasarely’s fascination with the hexagon. He created a series of paintings – ‘Homage to the Hexagon’ in parallel with the Gestalt series. ION 10, 1969
In the mid-late 60’s, Vasarely’s style is characterized by deep undulating surfaces, gradual color modulations, checker board grids, hexagon grids, and octagon grids. Galaxie - 1979 Victor Vasarely Vancouver II
• Vasarely became internationally known in 1965 when he exhibited at “The Responsive Eye” exhibition in New York’s Museum of Modern art and was invited to show at numerous major galleries and museums around the world. • In 1976, Victor founded the Foundation Vasarely in Aix-en-Provence, France. The center thrives on the innovation and creativity of the future, focusing on science, computers and new technologies. • The Vasarely Museum was also opened in 1976 in Pecs, Hungary and a second museum in 1987 in Budapest, Hungary.
Bridget Riley 1931 British painter • Riley studied art at Goldsmiths College and later at the Royal College of Art where she received her B. A. in 1955. • Her style was inspired by the pointillism of Georges Seurats’ landscapes and led her to an interest in optical effects. Victor Vasarely was another influence in the use of his black and white designs. She also saw a large Jackson Pollock exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London that deeply impressed her and her work. • In the late 50’s, Riley painted in black and white creating paintings of straight or wavy lines that gave the illusion of movement or color. • Her first solo show was in London in 1962 and in 1965 she exhibited in the New York City show called The Responsive Eye. • At the end of the 60’s, she was using a full range of color expanding to a wider range of color in the late 70’s after a trip to Egypt where she saw colorful hieroglyphic decorations. • In 1968, she exhibited in the Venice Biennial where she won the International Prize for painting. • In 1983, Riley designed the interior of the Royal Liverpool Hospital.
Movement in Squares, 1961 Tempera on board, 48"x 47" In Movement in Squares, a sequence of shapes - squares in this case – proceeds from left to right. Their height remains constant while their width is diminished. This structural contraction creates the sensation of a temporary disturbance that is resolved by a partial return to the stable square. Disrupting a regular progression in this way has an emotional significance. Riley saw her intention as making a statement about ‘stabilities and instabilities, certainties and uncertainties.
Blaze 1, 1962 The extreme contrast between black and white causes some works of this period to give off an almost aggressive energy. These paintings produce strong optical sensations in the viewer. The progress of Riley’s work was spurred on by a growing awareness of the visual energies hidden in the shapes she was using. She gave reign to the way the structures she was creating tended to destabilize, dissolving into intense, unsettling perceptual experiences. In Blaze I , Riley has designed a spiral structure using repeated diagonal black and white lines. By reducing the thickness of the lines toward the center of the image, she has created a dizzying illusion of depth and movement.
Pause, 1964 In Pause, black circles are gradually compressed into grayish ovals, as if they were being sucked into a 3 -D warp near the center of the picture plane. To create this illusion, Riley established a geometric unit – here a circle - and repeated it to build a pattern. She then introduced subtle variations of form and gradation to create visual tension.
White Discs, 1964 If you focus on this image with a steady gaze, after a while your eyes will invent the white discs referred to in the title as afterimages, floating above the white background. An afterimage is an optical illusion that happens when the part of your eye that perceives color becomes so tired that it sees the opposite of the original color.
Arrest 1, 1965
Cataract 3, 1967 In 1966, Riley began using color to express calmer feelings. In Cataract 3, wavy gray bands gradually separate into their warmer and cooler tones. Toward the center of the canvas, they become a pair of blue and red stripes. The rippling waves of color create a rhythmic, restful sense of motion.
Shadow Play, 1990 Throughout the late 60 s and 70 s Riley introduced more and more color into her work. During a trip to Egypt in 1979/80, she was captivated by the paintings in the Royal tombs of the Valley of the Kings. She discerned five vital colors - brick-red, ochre yellow, blue, turquoise and yellow green – which for the next five years would dominate her palette, in a series of paintings that consisted solely of vertical stripes. From 1985 these stripes began to be broken up by diagonal hatching, creating a sense of depth. The painting here, Shadow Play, makes use of both the vertical stripe and the diagonal. Dark blue lozenges contrast sharply with lighter pinks and yellows. There is a sense of light and shadow, as the title suggests.
Nataraja, 1993 Nataraja is a term from Hindu mythology meaning 'Lord of the Dance'. In this painting, vertical bands of color are cut across by diagonals, creating a sense of dynamic movement through intricate rhythm and counter-rhythm.
Blue Dominance. Red Dominance. Green Dominance. 1997 Screenprint Left to right: Riley is interested in visual effects, commenting: The eye can travel over the surface in a way parallel to the way it moves over nature. It should feel caressed and soothed, experience frictions and ruptures, glide and drift. One moment, there will be nothing to look at and the next second the canvas seems to refill, to be crowded with visual events.
Carnival, 2000 Silkscreen, 28 3/4" x 36"