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WHAT IS…OP ART?

Posted 3 June 2015 by Kat

Does this look funny to you? Does it make you feel a bit sea sick?

Victor Vasarely, Supernovae 1959–6, © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Victor Vasarely, Supernovae 1959–6, © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Well if it does, its probably Op Art.

Have you seen an Optical Illusion before? These are very similar. It’s all to do with geometry, shapes, colours and patterns and was started in the 1960s.

What shapes can you see in the painting below?

Victor Vasarely, Banya, 1964 , © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Victor Vasarely, Banya, 1964 , © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

These artworks mess with your eyes and alter your perception of the artworks.

Some of the coolest Op artists are Bridget Riley, Jesus Rafael Soto, and Victor Vasarely. Look at the way they use colours and shape to change the way you see the 2D image? How do you feel when you look at these artworks?

Bridget Riley, Hesitate 1964, © Bridget Riley 2014. All rights reserved, courtesy Karsten Schubert, London

Bridget Riley, Hesitate 1964, © Bridget Riley 2014. All rights reserved, courtesy Karsten Schubert, London

Bridget Riley, Fragment 5/8 1965, © Bridget Riley 2014. All rights reserved, courtesy Karsten Schubert, London

Bridget Riley, Fragment 5/8 1965, © Bridget Riley 2014. All rights reserved, courtesy Karsten Schubert, London

Jesus Rafael SotoLight Trap 1965 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Jesus Rafael Soto, Light Trap 1965 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

There are also some abstract artists that sometimes slip into Op art, like Frank Stella below. His colours are bright and jazzy! I wonder what this would look like in black and white?

Frank Stella, Untitled (Rabat) 1964, © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015

Frank Stella, Untitled (Rabat) 1964, © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015

Some of these artists involved movement into their artwork, which is sometimes called kinetic artwork. Julio Le Parc used mobiles in his work. You can see one of his images below. How do you think this would move in a gallery?

Julio Le Parc, Continual Mobile, Continual Light 1963 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Julio Le Parc, Continual Mobile, Continual Light 1963 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Pssst did you know we have an awesome exhibition in the summer at Tate St Ives called: Images Moving Out Onto Space which has some of the best Op artists in! Great stuff!

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8 comments

  1. Art by kids says:

    the way they done this is marvellous … keep working

  2. Painting by kids says:

    moving images

  3. 0121 says:

    GOOD

  4. some guy says:

    wow this is great

  5. lovely says:

    this is the worst art ive ever seen its rubbish

  6. Lovingbirds says:

    I need to do pattern for my long term project for school and this is exactly what I`m looking for to make a perfect project… Good and keep up the amazing job you all are doing! (:

  7. Lovingbirds says:

    Just what I need

  8. zoe says:

    Love