Contemporary Op Art


Artists in the 1960s drew on recent advances in the science of visual perception to create optical illusions in their art, contributing to a movement called Op Art. Artists today expand on these earlier investigations, employing novel processes to create mesmerizing patterns and colors that attract and intrigue the eye. Tauba Auerbach’s two-dimensional “Mesh/Moire” prints create the effect of an undulating surface with surprising depth, akin to the appearance of rippling water. Op Art artists have frequently operated at the forefront of technology; such technical proficiency can be seen in works like Travess Smalley’s “Vector Weaves, ” a series created by continually passing an image between digital and analog formats to produce a glitchy effect that is at once a photograph, a print, and a painting.