Wizard of Op Art

Richard Anuszkiewicz’s genius lies in his experimentation with color and geometric forms. Born in Erie, Pennsylvania he attended Cleveland Institute of Art. At Yale University he earned his Master of Fine Arts and began to explore optics and color. While at Yale he trained with Josef Albers whose influence can be seen in his artwork through his play with formal structural color effect and use of squares.

Along with Bridgett Riley in England and Victor Vasarey in France, Anuszkiewicz was a pioneer in the Op Art movement during the 1960’s and 1970’s. In fact, in 1964 Life magazine called him “The New Wizard of Op”. The Op Movement focused on the illusion of motion created by optical illusions. Anuszkiewicz was mainly interested in the effect of high-intensity colors when applied to similar geometric configurations. His work is sometimes considered “scientific” art but his main focus is really non-objective. He encourages viewers to reflect on the nature of human experience in the physical world, and how what is seen is privileged over that which is not.

Anuszkiewicz currently resides in Englewood, New Jersey. His works are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Tate Gallery of Modern Art. He has been exhibited internationally and has had more than 100 solo shows.

The above print Intersecting Blues is part of the th(ink)ing exhibition in our Main Gallery. This print was produced in collaboration with Lafayette College’s engineering department whic upon Curlee Raven Holton’s request  laser-cut the metal printing plate with the same precision for which Anuszkiewicz is known.

Above: Intersecting Blues, 1996, Relief print, 2/20, Courtesy of the Experimental Printmaking Institute, Lafayette College

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