Ed Mieczkowski: Defining the Industrial Abstract
A salient figure in the development of Op Art and Geometric Abstraction, Ed Mieczkowski has radically altered the interface between art and perception. Acclaimed by critics and curators, the artist garnered laudatory coverage in Time Magazine's 1964 article "Op Art: Pictures that Attack the Eye," the first printed instance of the term used to describe the then-burgeoning artistic movement. His participation in the Museum of Modern Art's groundbreaking 1965 exhibition, The Responsive Eye, further contributed to his centrality among painters whose investigations into the mechanics of seeing have forever altered the grammar of Modern art.
In founding the Cleveland-based artist collaborative known as the Anonima Group in 1959, alongside Ernst Benkert and Francis Hewitt, Mieczkowski labored to coproduce unsigned artworks characterized by an optical illusionism that unhinges our egocentric authority over the visual field. Responding to what the collective deplored as the grandiose subjectivity of Abstract Expressionism, these works not only renewed art's allegiance with the conscientious and often anonymous operations of Modernist design; they also paved the way for a disciplined career in which Mieczkowski continues to evolve a visual language noteworthy for its jewel-edged conceptual and compositional sharpness.