Op art, short for "optical art," is a style of art that emerged in the 1960s. This movement is characterized by its use of optical illusions to create images that seem to move, vibrate, or pulsate. Op art is often created using geometric shapes, contrasting colors, and precise patterns to create visual effects that can be both mesmerizing and disorienting.
Op art is closely related to the broader art movement known as abstraction, which seeks to create art that does not represent recognizable objects or scenes from the natural world. However, op art takes this idea a step further by using optical illusions to create an almost otherworldly effect.
One of the pioneers of op art was Victor Vasarely, a Hungarian-French artist who created a number of works that used optical illusions to create an almost three-dimensional effect. Vasarely's work was heavily influenced by his training in graphic design, and he used precise lines and bold colors to create the illusion of movement and depth in his works.
Another notable op artist was Bridget Riley, a British artist who is known for her use of optical illusions in her paintings. Riley's work often features repeating patterns of black and white or contrasting colors, which create the impression of movement or vibration.
Op art became popular in the 1960s, particularly in the United States, where it was embraced by a number of artists and critics. Some of the most famous op art works include Riley's "Fall," a painting that features a series of wavy black and white lines that seem to pulsate, and Vasarely's "Zebra," which uses a series of black and white stripes to create an illusion of depth and movement.
Credits: Malika Favre
Credits: Malika Favre
While op art fell out of favor in the 1970s and 1980s, it has seen a resurgence in recent years, particularly with the rise of digital art and animation. Today, op art continues to inspire artists and designers, who are drawn to its use of optical illusions and its ability to create a sense of movement and depth in two-dimensional images. In conclusion, Op art is a fascinating and innovative art movement that has left a lasting impact on the art world. Its use of optical illusions to create movement and depth in two-dimensional images is truly remarkable, and its influence can still be seen in contemporary art and design.