Op Art

On the origin of Op Art — Victor Vasarely!

Vasarely is recognized as the original mover and shaker of form and color — creating and manipulating images in new ways that tease the eye and the mind. In fact, it would be nearly three decades after his initial foray into this new visual territory before the term “Op Art” existed. Time magazine coined the term in 1964, ‘validating’ what had by then grown to be a recognized art movement.

There are many masters, but by way of introduction, following are a few favorites by three titans in the Op Art movement: Victor Vasarely, M.C. Escher and Bridgette Riley.

Victor Vasarely (Hungarian-French, Op Art, 1906-1997): Zebra, 1937. Woodcut print, 52 x 60 cm. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Victor Vasarely (Hungarian-French, Op Art, 1906-1997): Zebra, 1937. Woodcut print, 52 x 60 cm. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Victor Vasarely (Hungarian/French, Op Art, 1906-1997): Tettye (Untitled). Serigraph. Private Collection. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Victor Vasarely (Hungarian/French, Op Art, 1906-1997): Tettye (Untitled). Serigraph. Private Collection. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Victor Vasarely (Hungarian/French, Op Art, 1906-1997): Quadrature, c. 1979. Color silkscreen on wove paper. Private Collection. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Victor Vasarely (Hungarian/French, Op Art, 1906-1997): Quadrature, c. 1979. Color silkscreen on wove paper. Private Collection. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Victor Vasarely (Hungarian/French, Op Art, 1906-1997): Riu Kiu C, 1960. Acrylic on canvas, 115 x 115 cm. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Victor Vasarely (Hungarian/French, Op Art, 1906-1997): Riu Kiu C, 1960. Acrylic on canvas, 115 x 115 cm. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Bridget Riley (British, Op Art, b. 1931): Kiss, 1961. Acrylic on linen, 122 × 122 cm (48 x 48 inches). © Bridget Riley. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Bridget Riley (British, Op Art, b. 1931): Kiss, 1961. Acrylic on linen, 122 × 122 cm (48 x 48 inches). © Bridget Riley. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Bridget Riley (British, Op Art, b. 1931): Fall, 1963. Polyvinyl acetate paint on hardboard, 1410 x 1403 mm. Tate Modern, London, UK. © Bridget Riley. Image: © Tate. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.  ‘I try to organise a field of visual energy which accumulates until it reaches maximum tension’, Riley said of this work. (© Tate.)

Bridget Riley (British, Op Art, b. 1931): Fall, 1963. Polyvinyl acetate paint on hardboard, 1410 x 1403 mm. Tate Modern, London, UK. © Bridget Riley. Image: © Tate. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles. ‘I try to organise a field of visual energy which accumulates until it reaches maximum tension’, Riley said of this work. (© Tate.)

M.C. Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972): Concentric Rinds Colour, 1953. M.C. Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972): Bond of Union, 1956. Lithograph, 25.3 x 33.9 cm (10 x 13-3/8 inches). © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

M.C. Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972): Concentric Rinds Colour, 1953. M.C. Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972): Bond of Union, 1956. Lithograph, 25.3 x 33.9 cm (10 x 13-3/8 inches). © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

M.C. Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972): Rippled Surface, March 1950. Linocut in black and grey-brown on Japan paper, 33.6 x 40.1 cm; image: 26 x 32 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. © Cordon Art B.V. - Baarn - Netherlands. Image: © 2013 The National Gallery of Canada. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

M.C. Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972): Rippled Surface, March 1950. Linocut in black and grey-brown on Japan paper, 33.6 x 40.1 cm; image: 26 x 32 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. © Cordon Art B.V. – Baarn – Netherlands. Image: © 2013 The National Gallery of Canada. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Victor Vasarely (Hungarian/French, Op Art, 1906-1997): Duo-2, 1967. Medium: Gouache, acrylic on board, 12-1/4 x 16 inches (31 x 40.6 cm). Private Collection. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Victor Vasarely (Hungarian/French, Op Art, 1906-1997): Duo-2, 1967. Medium: Gouache, acrylic on board, 12-1/4 x 16 inches (31 x 40.6 cm). Private Collection. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Bridget Riley (British, Op Art, b. 1931): Deny II, 1967. Polyvinyl acetate emulsion paint on canvas, 217.2 x 217.2 x 40 cm. Tate Modern, London, UK. © Bridget Riley. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

Bridget Riley (British, Op Art, b. 1931): Deny II, 1967. Polyvinyl acetate emulsion paint on canvas, 217.2 x 217.2 x 40 cm. Tate Modern, London, UK. © Bridget Riley. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

 

 

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