using artwork and sculptures to change an environment

« Back to Home

History And Characteristics Of Optical Art

Posted on

When you are looking for a great art form of art to witness, optical art is an excellent choice. Spending some time at an optical art gallery will let you come away with a great appreciation of the genre, while also taking in some important history. This unique form of art has been appreciated by people for years, and for good reason. To learn more about optical art, also known as "op art", read on. 

What exactly is op art?

Op art is a form of drawing, painting and other artistic expression that creates an optical illusion. This form of tricking the mind is a great appeal of the art form, and has been used in a variety of ways throughout history. Some attributes of op art include the fact that it is typically two dimensional, while creating the illusion of being three dimensional. It features a number of different sophisticated angles, colors and curves in order to create such an effect. The artists typically juxtapose contracting attributes in order to create such an illusion, such as black and white, or straight and round. Artists who master this style do so by making the absolute most out of both negative and positive spaces. 

How did op art begin?

Op art's roots can be traced back to 20th century Germany, at a time of great technological change and advancement. This futuristic take on art allowed people to express themselves in new ways, by challenging perception. Kinetic art, such as a famous bicycle wheel exhibit, used motion to create illusion. These ideas set the tone for the beginning stages of op art, which were later translated into two dimensional form through a variety of works. 

What are examples of important op artists and works?

Bridget Riley created a painting entitled "Blaze" in 1964 that is considered one of the most important op art works. It uses a series of patterns that create the optical illusion that the painting is actually moving back and forth. In terms of color manipulation, Victor Vasarely used different shades to make a two dimensional painting appear three dimensional. He also used a series of cool and warm colors, such as reds, blues and greens, along with stair stepping patterns, in order to create depth with the painting. These sorts of paintings set the tone for the genre, which has gone on to flourish ever since.  

Now that you know a bit about op art, treat yourself to experience and find an optical art gallery near you.