Through his use of colors that contradict one another, Richard Anuszkiewicz has made his mark on the Op Art movement. Op Art (not to be confused with Pop Art) is an art movement known for its use of optical illusions to create visually fascinating pieces that aren’t always what they may seem to be at first glance.
Anuszkiewicz, who studied under the renowned artist Josef Albers, expanded on many of the ideas he learned from his tutor in some of his own paintings. Examples include square paintings done by Anuszkiewicz that he painted to further explore themes form Albers’s famous series of paintings titled Homage to the Square. Many of Anuszkiewicz’s paintings are done using the square to experiment with different visual perceptions.
The artist’s work has been featured in collections at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum.
Anuszkiewicz and the Op Art Movement
In 1964, Time Magazine first used the term Op Art to describe the paintings at a Julian Stanczak show. While the term became widely popular to refer to the particular kind of paintings Op artists tend to create, many of the artists didn’t like the term and preferred for their work to be referred to as perceptual art instead.
Since the very beginning of the movement, Op Art has been known for its use of black and white geometrical shapes that easily fool the viewer’s eye, but Anuszkiewicz breaks away from this norm by making color his central theme throughout all of his paintings, a technique he most likely learned from Albers, whose works were equally well known for their use of color as a means of creating optically intriguing specimens.
In a 1976 interview with Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art, Anuszkiewicz talked about how his use of color was strongly influenced by Impressionistic artists like Cézanne, explaining that he admired how warm shades and cool shades could be placed next to one another to make both colors appear more lively.
This use of color has earned Anuszkiewicz a positions as one of the pioneers in Op Art, and his definitely considered one of the pioneers of the movement. Although the artist followed after the forerunners such as Albers, Stanczak and Victor Vasarely, he can’t be overlooked when considering some of the greatest contributors to the movement.
As an Artist, Anuszkiewicz has been very prolific in the production of prints. His prints sport every bit the delightful color experience of his other works and he has published prints that have many different geometrical themes in a broad variety of colors.
Vertu has a large collection of prints by the artist, and we would encourage anyone who has a interest in the Op Art movement to visit our gallery to view the Anuszkiewicz prints. There’s sure to be something to suite every person’s personal taste and décor.
For those less interested in Op Art, we offer a wide variety of other schools of modern art, such as Pop, Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism and work that can’t easily be classified under any specific art movement.