View the Exhibition
Art Movements Featured in Exhibition
“Focusing isn’t just an optical activity, it is also a mental one.” -Bridget Riley
Op Art, a movement titled by shortening the word optical art. Op Art works are geometric and abstract with either brilliant colors or black and white. The imagery makes the viewer feel the illusion of movement and optical illusions. Op Art artists used both complex and contradictory optical imagery consisting of parallel lines, repetition and repeating rhythms, patterns, concentric circles and chromatic tension.
The artist known as the grandfather of optical art is French-Hungarian artist Victor Vasarely, whose painting titled Zebras (1938) is by many art historians considered one of the earliest examples of Op Art.
Op Art wasn’t confined to two-dimensional artworks. Artists such as Jesús Rafael Soto made large-scale sculptures that employed light, motors and sculptural materials to create the illusion of movement in space.
Artists associated with Op Art are: Victor Vasarely, M.C. Escher, Bridget Riley, Frank Stella, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jesús Rafael Soto, Richard Anuszkiewicz and Josef Albers.
“Usually when someone says a thing is too simple, they’re saying that certain familiar things aren’t there, and they’re seeing a couple maybe that are left, which they count as a couple, that’s all.” --Donald Judd
Minimalism is an art movement that began in post–World War II in Western art, most strongly with American visual arts in the 1960s and early 1970s. It is a style characterized by artworks composed of hard edges, simple repeating geometric shapes based on the square and the rectangle, blocks of color, precise lines, and limited color choices. Minimalist art reflects truth and simplicity by using only the basics.
The movement is often interpreted as a reaction against Abstract
Expressionism and Modernism. The term was first used in English in the early 20th century to describe “a 1913 composition by the Russian painter Kazimir Malevich of a black square on a white ground” painting.
Prominent artists associated with Minimalism include Donald Judd, John McCracken, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, and Frank Stella.
“Pop art is a way of liking things.” –Andy Warhol
Pop Art was an art movement based on American popular culture, consumer culture, and mass media especially as an ironic reaction to “high art”. Pop Art was founded in the 1950s in Britain and spread to the United States in the 1960s. Pop Art in America started with the New York artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Claes Oldenburg all of whom drew on popular imagery and quickly became part of an international phenomenon.
Following the popularity of the Abstract Expressionism, Pop’s reintroduction of realistic imagery (drawn from mass media and popular culture) was a major shift from the direction of modernism. The subject matter became far from traditional “high art” themes of morality, mythology, and classic history; rather, Pop artists celebrated commonplace objects and people of everyday life, in this way seeking to elevate popular culture to the level of fine art. Perhaps owing to the incorporation of commercial images, Pop Art has become one of the most recognizable styles of modern art. Imagery was derived from sources such as Western movies, science fiction, comic books,
billboards, automobile design, rock and roll music and more.
Pop Art would continue to influence art in later decades with artists like Warhol maintaining a larger-than-life presence within the New York art world into the 1980s. Pop Art fell out of favor during the 1970s as the art world shifted focus from art objects to installations, performances, and other less tangible art forms.
Artists continue to break down the barrier between high and low art forms while reevaluating the role of art as a commodity in and of itself.
SMS - "Shit Must Stop"
“Americans... don’t know the difference between eroticism and pornography. Because eroticism has always existed in art. And pornography has never necessarily been in art.” William N. Copley
At the height of the global political and social upheavals of the 1960’s, the American Surrealist painter and art dealer William Copley and American Dada and Surrealist painter Dimitri Petrov published an unusual periodical
entitled S.M.S., which informally stood for “Shit Must Stop.”
Inspired by the Dada movement (artists against traditional art values) and the anti-commercial, merged-media culture of the Fluxus movement (artists against elitism in the art world), the publication consisted of a series of six 7 x 11-inch cardboard portfolios published bimonthly between February and December of 1968.
Each portfolio contained seven to fourteen multiples by different artists, and included works of diverse materials and techniques, from constructions and printed matter to photographs, prints, drawings, and sound recordings. Influential art movements of these portfolios include Fluxus, Dada, Surrealism and Pop Art. Artists were paid $100 for their contribution whether established or emerging.
Artworks from the portfolio in this exhibition include Bruce Conner, Bruce Nauman, Hannah Weiner, John Cage, Lawrence Weiner, Lee Lozano, Lil Picard, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Ray Johnson, and Roland Penrose.