Recent Acquisitions at VFA

Here’s a quick look at some of the recent additions we’ve added to the VFA gallery:

Jean-Michel Basquiat – Ligaments of the Elbow

Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1960-88

Jean-Michel Basquiat was 27-years-old when he died of a heroin overdose on August 12, 1988 in studio on Great Jones Street in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood.

Many of Basquiat’s most powerful works were done just before his untimely death, including a 6 x 11 foot painting title Victor 25448, which is expected to garner over $10 million at Phillips Contemporary auction this month.

Ligaments of the Elbow, available at VFA, is part of the Anatomy Series that Basquiat began to work on after  his first solo show in New York, when gallery owner Annina Nosei gave him a studio in the basement of the gallery. It was there that Basquiat began to produce drawings of the anatomical forms that recur in his works.

Basquiat’s fascination with the human form began when he was seven and his mother gave him a copy of Grey’s Anatomy while he was recovering after being hit by a car.

His interest in social justice and Black history, as well as anatomy, can be seen in all of his work, like Wolf Sausage, King Brand, Dog Leg Study and Undiscovered Genius and Boxer Rebellionlimited edition screenprints, available at VFA.

Deborah Kass – OY/YO

Deborah KassOY/YO work continues to resonate with the public. BK Reader editor, C. Zawadi Morris, described the work’s appeal: “The art’s universality has the unique ability to speak across generations, cultures and ethnicities,” she wrote, “holding very simple yet profound meanings within Spanish-speaking, Jewish and Black American communities. It is a call to action, an expression and an acknowledgement of self.”

In addition to two Oy/Yo sculptures in our gallery, we can now offer a limited edition silkscreen with flocking of Oy/Yo.

Jonas Wood

Jonas Wood and Shio Kusaka.
Photo: University of Washington, School of Art

Many of the paintings of Jonas Wood are enormous and have exceeded the $1 million mark at recent auctions. For those of us who are more interested in fine art prints, Wood not only works with master printmakers, but has a print shop in his Culver City studio because, he says, that he’s “…pretty heavy into printmaking.”

In addition to his recent works, we also have a complete set of four lithographs done in 2014.

Richard Anuszkiewicz – Etchings

Richard Anuszkiewicz, May 23, 1930 – May 19, 2020.

Op Art pioneer, Richard Anuszkiewicz, died in his home in Englewood, New Jersey on May 19, 2020. He was 89.

His focus was on the interactions between  form and and color. “I’m interested in making something romantic out of a very, very mechanistic geometry,” he said.

The etchings he did in 1979, now available at VFA, are wonderful examples of his work that has remained timeless.

More Recent Acquisitions….

We’ve also added works by David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Beverly Fishman, Yoshito Nara, and Red Grooms.

Please contact us if you would like more information about any of the work available at VFA.


References:
Sarah Osei. One of Basquiat’s Largest Works Expected to Fetch $10 Million at Auction. Highsnobiety. June 26, 2020.
C. Zawadi Morris. Yo! Brooklyn Artist Deborah Kass Has Something to Say! BK Reader. October 15, 2018.
Jessie Carbutt. Yoshitomo Nara: Beyond the Big-Headed Girls. Metropolis. June 23, 2020.
Loney Abrams. Interview: Jonas Wood on His New Monograph and Limited-Edition Print. Artspace. November 21, 2019.
Jillian Steinhauer. Richard Anuszkiewicz, Whose Op Art Caught Eyes in the ’60s, Dies at 89. The New York Times. May 25, 2020.
Richard Anuszkiewicz Artwork for Sale

Richard Anuszkiewicz: Annual Editions

I sometimes refer to my painting as architectural, because I work out my plan, I work out my idea, and then I go about constructing the painting.”

In 1964, LIFE magazine featured the works of Richard Anuszkiewicz, and called him, “one of the new wizards of Op.”

Getting Started

Before the LIFE article, Op Art had puzzled many critics and art lovers, who were jarred by the sometimes disturbing and disorienting effects of the works. The work of Op Artists, like Seurat, Cezanne and Monet were more subtle than those of mid-twentieth century Op Artists like Anuszkiewicz and Josef Albers, his teacher at Yale.

Anuszkiewicz moved to New York in 1957, at the age of 27, after finishing his MFA at Yale. His training was classical and his early works were done in a variety of medium like oil, watercolor, gauche and ink. As Anuszkiewicz experimented with color and placement of color, his work evolved into the Op compositions that have defined his style for the past sixty years.

“”I sometimes refer to my painting as architectural,”  Anuszkiewicz said, “because I work out my plan, I work out my idea, and then I go about constructing the painting.”

When he first arrived in New York, he worked at The Met and had enough of his art to show at galleries, but his bold, hard-edged paintings were rejected by Leo Castelli, Martha Jackson and other gallery owners.It was Karl Lunde, director of The Contemporaries Gallery on Madison Avenue, who finally gave Anuszkiewicz a solo show in 1960.

Not a single painting was sold, until the Saturday morning before the show closed, when Alfred Barr, MoMA’s first director, bought a painting for the museum’s permanent collection. Other collectors, like New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and author James Michener, followed Barr’s lead and, gradually, Anuszkiewicz became, “one of the new wizards of Op.”

Richard Anuszkiewicz: Annual Editions

In 1965, MoMA used Anuszkiewicz’ Christmas Star for their Annual Edition holiday card design. After the MoMA Christmas Star design, Anuszkiewicz designed cards every year for his friends. He made them in limited editions, not for the commercial art market, and they have been coming up for sale as their recipients have died and the cards have become part of their estates.

Richard Anuszkiewicz Annual Editions at VFA

The 1990 Annual Edition, one of the rare black and white designs, was signed for Anuszkiewicz’ attorney, Marty and his wife, Roz and is available at VFA. Each Annual Edition is an example of the way Anuszkiewicz continues to use sharp lines and color to create his bold designs.

Please contact us for more information about the Annual Editions for sale at VFA.

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Richard Anuszkiewicz, annual 93

Richard Anuszkiewicz: Op Art, Science and Psychology

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The works of Richard Anuszkiewicz have exceeded, and in some cases almost doubled, the high end expected  asking price at auction.

Anuszkiewicz’s works are owned by about one hundred public institutions and many private and corporate collections in the United States and around the world.

Color is my subject matter and its performance is my painting. I’ve taken color a step further than it had been taken by the Impressionists and the Neo-Impressionists.’’

Op Art, Science and Psychology

The study of visual perception dates back to ancient Greece, with scholars like Euclid and Aristotle trying to determine how vision is carried out. Leonardo da Vinci is thought to be the first to recognize that the eye is capable of clear vision at the line of sight but that peripheral and foveal vision also exists.

Even Sir Isaac Newton and John Locke tried, in the eighteenth century to figure out how and why we perceive things the way we do.

In the 1930s Gestalt psychologists began to study the way in which we perceive visual patterns and how we organize, with our minds, what we see with our eyes.

Enter Richard Anuszkiewicz

After graduating with A BFA from the Cleveland Art Institute with a four year scholarship, Anuszkiewicz won a Pulitzer traveling fellowship. His early work, like Green Door, attests to his talent as an artist, but it wasn’t until he used the Pulitzer to study at Yale with Josef Albers, that he began to make sense of the use of color in his work. Ironically, it was after he left Yale, and Albers, that he abandoned realism and focused on color.

”My thesis in graduate school at Yale dealt with the creation of space with line drawing,” Anuszkiewicz said in a New York Times interview. ”I explored how the line can be used to create space, and I still do that.’’

His 1954 Self Portrait marked his transition from realism to his work with line and color.

When Anuszkiewicz moved to New York in 1957, there were few gallery owners who would take a chance on showing his work, which was a radical departure from the Abstract Expressionist paintings in vogue at the time.

He finally got a solo show at The Contemporaries Gallery, but did not make a single sale in the first two weeks of the show. It wasn’t until just before the show closed, that Alfred H. Barr, MoMA’s first director, bought one of Anuszkiewicz’s paintings for the museum. That purchase provided the impetus for other collectors to begin purchasing Anuszkiewicz’s works.

The Understanding of Op Art

It was the work of Richard Anuszkiewicz that has given the world a better understanding of how color works and an understanding of the visual complexities of space, line and color.

”Color is my subject matter and its performance is my painting,” said Anuszkiewicz. ”I’ve taken color a step further than it had been taken by the Impressionists and the Neo-Impressionists.’’

It is thanks to Richard Anuszkiewicz that we have a better understanding of the impact of color and line in a work of art, and that we can appreciate, accept and enjoy Op Art.

The Work of Richard Anuszkiewicz for Sale at VFA

The works of Richard Anuszkiewicz, at VFA, span a period of nearly fifty years. Please contact us for more information about the works of Richard Anuszkiewicz or any of the other many fine artists whose work is for sale in the VFA gallery.

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Richard Anuszkiewicz Prints

Richard Anuszkiewicz Prints

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.

Anuszkiewicz Prints

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.

Richard Anuszkiewicz Primary Hue

Richard Anuszkiewicz: Collecting Op Art

Europeans have been collecting Op Art since the mid-20th century, after the Le Mouvement exhibit in Paris in 1955, which introduced the public to Optical and Kinetic artists like Victor Vasarely, Jean Arp and Alexander Calder.

A decade later, in New York, MoMA hosted an exhibition called The Responsive Eye, which included the greatest European Optical Artists and their American counterparts. Works by Victor Vasarely, Yvaral and Bridget Riley were hung alongside the works of Frank Stella, Josef Albers and Richard Anuszkiewicz.

The art and science of Op Art goes back to the 19th century, when French scientist, Eugene Chevreul, and others, were studying the effects of color on visual perception in art and science.

Some of the greatest artists of the time, like Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Charles Angrand visited Chevreul and used his principles to create their paintings.

Chevruel’s influence on the art world began when he became the director of the Gobelins Manufactory company in Paris. The company dyed yarns for tapestries and carpets. When the company’s weavers complained about the black color of some of the wool, Chevruel’s testing led him to the realization that the dyes were not the problem. He began to understand that the visual perception of color was influenced by how the colors were placed alongside one another.

Here’s how Chevruel explained his Law of Simultaneous Contrast :                                          

If we look simultaneously upon two stripes of different tones of the same colours, or upon two stripes of the same tone of different colours placed side by side, if the stripes are not too wide, the eye perceives certain modifications which in the first place influence the intensity of colour, and in the second, the optical composition of the two juxtaposed colours respectively.  Now as these modifications make the stripes appear different from what they really are, I give to them the name of simultaneous contrast of colours; and I call contrast of tone the modification in intensity of colour, and contrast of colour that which affects the optical composition of each juxtaposed colour.” —Eugene Chevreul

As the work of the Impressionists evolved, the use of color evolved, as well, and artists began to use color, shape and style in ways never seen before, in a more abstract and emotional way.

The Bauhaus, in Germany, had a great influence on the art of the early 20th century, but was closed by the Nazis in 1933. Great artists and teachers, like Josef Albers, emigrated from Germany to the United States. Albers taught at Yale, and passed his interest in color interactions on to his students. He published Interaction of Color in 1963 and used the principles he taught in his own works.

One of Albers’ most successful students was Richard Anuszkiewicz, who has spent his life exploring the visual effects of color in his work.

Chinese artist, Wayne Guangle, is one of the few young painters today who is focused on the visual possibilities of Op Art, which makes artists like Vasarely, Yvaral and Anuszkiewicz very collectable.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the work of Richard Anuszkiewicz or the other Op Artists in our gallery.

 

Richard Anuszkiewicz Paintings & Prints

Richard Anuszkiewicz Paintings & Prints

We’ve been fortunate to have acquired some of Richard Anuszkiewicz’s Annual Edition screenprints ranging in date from 1965 to 2004. Many of Anuszkiewicz’s family and friends received these prints as Christmas Cards over the years and some of them have found their way into the collectors’ market.

Anuszkiewicz has always been one of our favorites at Vertu. His strong colors and hard-edge designs changed the way the world looked at art in the mid twentieth century.

A Brief History of the Anuszkiewicz Annual Edition

Richard Anuszkiewicz became interested in color and screenprinting while studying with Josef Albers at Yale in the 1950s.
Anuszkiewicz’s solo show at the Contemporaries Gallery in New York, in 1960, got him public recognition, as well as recognition from Alfred H. Barr, the Museum of Modern Art’s first director.

Barr commissioned Anuszkiewicz to produce Christmas cards for MoMA from 1963 to 1965. We have the Christmas Star that he designed for MoMA in 1965.

Alfred Barr said, “Sometimes in the history of art it is possible to describe a period or a generation of artists as having been obsessed by a particular problem.”

Richard Anuszkiewicz’s obsession was, and remains, how we perceive color. The Op-art we’re so used to viewing and enjoying in the twenty first century, was new to the art world in the 1960s, although the study of color theory goes way back to the French scientist Michel-Eugene Chevreul, who published The Law of Simultaneous Color Contrast in 1839. Chevreul’s studies of color perception had a great influence on many 19th century French painters, including Delacroix and Matisse who, in turn, had a great influence on Richard Anuszkiewicz.

Anuszkiewicz used quiet, subtle colors in many of his early works, exploring color and perspective.

The Annual Editions at Vertu

1970s

In 1970s, Anuszkiewicz began to experiment with “simultaneous contrast.” placing two colors side-by-side in order to change our perception of those colors. Two examples of these works, that we offer at Vertu, are Annual Editions done in 1971 and 1973 designs, both enamel on masonite.

1980s

A trip to Egypt in the 1980s inspired Anuszkiewicz to use vibrant colors and more structural elements of design.

Sometimes in the history of art it is possible to describe a period or a generation of artists as having been obsessed by a particular problem.” —Alfred Barr

1990s

This was a period when Anuszkiewicz began working in wood and metal. His Annual Editions of the ‘90s reflect an evolution into clean, sculptured lines and pure colors.

2000-Present

“I’m interested in making something romantic out of a very, very mechanistic geometry. Geometry and color represent to me an idealized, classical place that’s very clear and very pure,” Anuszkiewicz says. At age 84, Richard Anuszkiewicz continues to explore color and texture. His work is part of permanent collections and exhibitions around the world.

We invite you to see the works of this great master of optical art at Vertu.

Richard Anuszkiewicz: Basking in the Warm Glow

My work is of an experimental nature and has centered on an investigation into the effects of complementary colors of full intensity when juxtaposed and the optical changes that occur as a result, and a study of the dynamic effect of the whole under changing conditions of light, and the effect of light on color.” —Richard Anuszkiewicz

For lovers of Optical Art, American Artist Richard Anuszkiewicz lives in rarified air, alongside Europeans Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely – all of whom are credited with fueling the genres skyrocketing popularity in the 1960s and 70s. As popular as Op Art may have been in its heyday, classic works by the masters continue to rise in value and once again, the movements popularity is on the rise. Like those Pop Art works by Warhol and Lichtenstein that that still make our hearts race on par with the first time we viewed them, the steady pulse of great optical works so too sustain unwavering energy and excitement.

Anuszkiewicz Primary Hue, 1964, is a “primary example” of the artist’s incredible ability to bend the mind’s eye. The Richard Anuszkiewicz effect is one of hypnosis, asking strong minded viewers to test their ability to break from its spell and work to decode just what’s been done to bestow such powers to a physically two-dimensional piece of art. Most impressive is the illusion of light radiating from “behind” the solid colored center square, working its way through time and space toward the viewer. Like watching a card trick, our logical brain tells us that there is no such thing as magic; yet this Anuszkiewicz work suggests otherwise. Unlike optical art that overwhelms, the true magic of this artist is just how pleasing his sense of complimentary colors can be, basking the viewer in a warm, comforting glow.

At VFA Fine Art Gallery in Boca Raton, our commitment to sourcing prime Optical Art rivals our passion for the finest Pop and Abstract Expressionist works. Among the recent Anuszkiewicz screenprints for sale is the artist’s Annual Edition print from 1990. Richard Anuszkiewicz’s Annual Edition prints are among the recurring thematic works most highly sought after by collectors. Such works were originally created for the artist’s family and friends, disseminated each holiday season. This unique print bears the names of the recipients, signed by the Anuszkiewicz. Like all works by this massively talented artist, this piece immediately captures our attention and holds it. There’s a calm feeling to the work that relaxes the viewer’s mind, as it vacillates between the optional shapes and interactions belonging to the subjects primary components.

Another Anuszkiewicz Annual Edition screenprint for sale at VFA is the artist’s 2004 work, which features the soft, mellow tones the artist has come to favor in the later part of his career. The simple, but powerful, illusory effects of this print leads the viewer to believe that the central square is an exaggerated distance away from the surface. Even viewing this work straight ahead, it’s easy to imagine that we’re looking down into a football stadium from above – as the angle of the dot formation associates the mind with a cylindrical ascension, moving from the center outward. Such is the genius of Richard Anuszkiewicz that the artist can employ six inches of squared paper and lead us into the depths of a full scale stadium view.

For over a half century, Richard Anuszkiewicz has been producing prolific creations − manipulating Contemporary Art enthusiasts with geometrical symmetry that takes us on a virtual ride with every gaze. From spinning diamonds to orbs and squares that envelope us (or reach out to meet us), the artist never fails to leave us scratching our heads in awe.

If you are an Anuszkiewicz collector, we invite you to visit our gallery located within The Shops at Boca Center. Here you’ll find Anuszkiewicz works that will seduce the mind and invite your imagination to wander. If you’re seeking a particular work belonging to this artist, or any Pop, Op or Abstract Expressionist works, we are pleased to offer our assistance. You can contact us online or call 561 368 4680.

Top Right Image of Richard Anuszkiewicz from: http://joshuaabelow.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-late-richard-anuszkiewicz.html

New Artwork for Sale at VFA

New Artwork for Sale at VFA

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Just as autumn ushers in a delightful change of weather in South Florida, so too do we embrace the changes brought by provocative new artwork for sale at our Boca Raton art gallery. Here’s a look at some of the artists and pieces that have visitors buzzing as of late.


When it comes to Optical Art masters, Colombian-born painter Omar Rayo is one of the movement’s pioneers, heralded for his heady geometric multi-dimensional works. Raiz Katia, an acrylic on canvas currently on display, captures the essence of what made Rayo one of the most highly acclaimed Latin Contemporary artists.

Omar Rayo, who suffered a fatal heart attack in 2010, is memorialized in part by the Museum of Rayo de Dibujo y Grabado Latinamericano − founded by the artist in 1981, in Colombia. The museum features over 2,000 Rayo works, as well as hundreds by other Latin artists. Omar Rayo remains an inspiration to many thriving Latin American artists and others, and his works are featured in galleries and museums worldwide.


Another Optical Art master drawing attention at Vertu Fine Art is Richard Anuszkiewicz – best known for his calculated color manipulations that result in marvelous capture and release of illumination. In Orange Family, an acrylic on panel, the artist produced a captivating chromatic exploration that truly must be viewed in person to fully comprehend its illusory effects, which we periodically describe as, “basking in the warm glow.”

Anuszkiewicz, who trained under Bauhaus artist Joseph Albers, helped to launch the American Op Art movement at a time when Victor Vasarely was pioneering the movement in Europe.


Born in Newark, NJ in the mid 1940s, Barbara Kruger is a modern Pop Artist who efficiently worked her way through high level design positions with famous women’s publications, such as Mademoiselle Magazine and House and Garden, prior to developing her own iconic brand. Like Warhol, Lichtenstein and Johns, her commercial design background served to immerse her in the powerful American cultural themes of consumerism and pop iconography.

Kruger is internationally recognized for her particular brand of Pop, with bold text simply stated that commands viewer attention, demands pause for a moment of introspection. Her most highly sought prints consist of the artist’s trademark colors – black, white and red. Culture Vulture, now hanging in our Boca Raton gallery, is emblematic of the artist’s style. Like another popular Kruger statement, “Your body is a battleground,” Culture Vulture causes us to stop to and inquire, simply, “Who?” Only to be flooded with potential answers, while we contemplate.


Also new at VFA, four works in a series from electrifying American artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel. The artist known for his large scale broken ceramic “plate paintings” and perhaps equally so for directing such highly acclaimed films as Before Night Falls, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and Basquiat (about painter Jean-Michel Basquiat). Schnabel rose to fame in the 1980s and is considered a central figure of the Neo-expressionism movement. Living and working in NYC and Montauk, Long Island, the artist is never far from the media spotlight, often garnering attention for his artistic endeavors, brash statements and celebrity status.

Julian Schnabel’s View of Dawn from the Tropics series of hand painted color screenprints with poured resin embody many of the features for which the artist is best known – large scale abstract works employing multiple techniques applied in various layers, with bold lines and intriguing colors.


Charles Hinman, one of the great living American Contemporary Art masters, is another featured artist at VFA. In the 1960s, Hinman began working outside the conventions of a singular rectangular canvass, creating unique three dimensional works consisting of various uniquely shaped canvases united.

The artist’s Sprinter, currently displayed at our Boca Raton gallery, is a must see. True to Charles Hinman’s intention, his sculptured canvases are visually malleable to their surroundings, heavily manipulated by angles of light that strike the exposed surface. In this regard, Hinman’s works provide rather exciting opportunities for collectors to re-imagine the impact of a singular work, based upon its placement and infinite options with regard to the application of natural and artificial light to emphasize different aspects.


If you’re planning to visit us at Vertu Fine Art, feel free to to set an appointment or simply stop by during gallery hours. If you are seeking works from a specific artwork for sale or genre, or have inquiries of any nature, we are always happy to assist.

Richard Anuszkiewicz

Richard Anuszkiewicz: Master of Luminosity, Color and Shape

Richard Anuszkiewicz (whose last name is pronounced Ah-nuss-kay-vitch) is an American artist closely tied to the founding of the Optical Art movement. The Op Art master, who is currently 83 years old, is considered to be a living legend of the Contemporary Art world. At Vertu Fine Art, our Boca Raton gallery that’s widely known for our collection of Pop, Abstract Expressionist and Optical Art, Anuszkiewicz is among the Op Artists we find most compelling.

In addition to his studies at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Anuszkiewicz trained with Joseph Albers at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture. Albers, who brought his Bauhaus-inspired teachings from Germany to Black Mountain College and then Yale, is known for his profound influence on artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly and Ray Johnson. Richard Anuszkiewicz was equally influenced by Joseph Albers, perhaps most importantly by Albers’ theories about color interactions and chromaticity.

At the same time that Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley were creating works that would gain worldwide attention for Op Art in Europe, during the 1960s and 1970s, Richard Anuszkiewicz was experimenting with painting and printmaking that would prove most provocative to the mind’s eye of art collectors − initially here in the U.S.

Hip to Be Square

Much like Joseph Albers, who received much acclaim for his Homage to the Square (1965) series of works, Anuszkiewicz also found a perfect framework for his compositions within the symmetrical friendly square as well. Considering that Optical Art often relies on mathematical calculations to carry out one’s investigations systematically, it’s not uncommon to choose a shape that supports the grid system so substantially.

Critics and Collectors often describe Anuszkiewicz’ works as though the patterns of varying color densities appear to hold back light, periodically and even intermittently allowing said light to seep out from porous areas of the composition.

In Orange Family, an original acrylic on panel currently hanging at VFA in Boca Raton, Richard Anuszkiewicz treats us to another illusory aspect of his works – a warm glow. As if plugged in, or backlit or side lighted, this work is one that often holds the gaze of visitors, who seem to bask in the mysterious control of the artist, able to trap light from the room and return it to our vision as we feel the vibrations of its pulse.

American Primary Hue (1964) is a fine example of an Anuszkiewicz work that creates enhanced Optical illusions for the viewer. Moment by moment, the masterpiece presents a variety of layers and strobe effects, with a solid middle square holding back light that escapes from its corners. In doing so, the white space plays tricks on the mind, apparently revealing square rings of varying depths. Lines move in from the outside of this work as though they seek out the inner box one moment, emanating from the inside out toward us the next.

Over the past seven decades, Op Artist Richard Anuszkiewicz has been the recipient of an impressive number of grants and awards. His exhibits and public collections around the country and internationally continue to stun audiences. Currently, his works can be seen in a number of impressive museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Harvard University’s Fogg Museum and New York’s Guggenheim, MOMA, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of Art.

If, like us, you enjoy the works of this impressive American Op Art master, visit us and view Anuszkiewicz here at our Boca Raton gallery. If you’re seeking a particular Richard Anuszkiewicz work − contact us and we’ll be glad to help.

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

We believe that the more you know, the more you will appreciate fine art prints.

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  • A short history of prints from the earliest woodcut to contemporary processes
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