Cleveland Museum of Art optical art exhibit a test for the eyes

Works show Cleveland as 'optical art' center

CLEVELAND - Works of optical art, op art for short, often appear to glow, move or change as one looks at them. The effect is often achieved using repetitive lines and shapes combined with bold or stark colors. Such works engage the viewer and test visual boundaries.

Those who want to challenge their perception with some of the finest examples of op art can do so at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Through February 2012, the museum is hosting a special small exhibition titled: CLE OP: Cleveland Op Art Pioneers.

The exhibit features works from the the Cleveland based artists who brought the style to prominence in the 1960s. At that time, Cleveland was home to the only collaborative dedicated to op art in the United States.

One of the artists whose became internationally known as an op art pioneer, and whose works are on display in the exhibition, is 82-year-old Julian Stanczak. Visited recently at his Cleveland area home, Stanczak told NewsChannel5 the planned, methodical op was a challenge to the "messy" abstract-expressionism style made popular by artists like Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.

"It was a very important movement of optical investigation," said Stanczak. "And Cleveland was quite responsible for this."

"We were the ones that were trying to analyze what art is all about," Stanczak said. "In order to analyze, we need to know the tools -- so the tools were vision and all the interactive aspects of vision."

To hear more from Julian Stanczak, click the video player. For mobile users, go to the video section of the newnset5 app.

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