Optical Allusions

How the Op Art movement is again making waves

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Bridget Riley

Until recently, the short-lived, mid-sixties Op Art movement was seen by many as an embarrasing blip on the art history radar, the stylistic equivalent of a novelty tee-shirt.

Now, however, there's a steady revival of interest, not only among collectors and curators, but among young artists themselves.

As a prominent feature of the international resurgence in abstraction - and with several big names in current American art adopting elements of Op as their own - it's time to take a look at what amounts to a mini Op Art renaissance.


Jim Isermann

Jim Isermann, new optical art

Los Angeles artist Jim Isermann applies the visual language of Op and '70s design not only to painting, but a wide range of objects including rugs, fabrics and furniture.

Jim Isermann, contemporary Op Art
images © Jim Isermann

Gilbert Hsaio

Gilbert Hsaio, Op Art now

American artist Hsaio is an early adopter of the new Op aesthetic, having explored perceptual art since the late '80s. He currently lives and works in Berlin.

Gilbert Hsaio, Op Art today
images © Gilbert Hsaio

Susie Rosmarin

Susie Rosmarin, contemporary optical art

Another artist whose practice predates recent interest in Op, Texan Susie Rosmarin has been working with Op-style abstraction for the last decade.

Susie Rosmarin Op Art
images © Susie Rosmarin

Xylor Jane

Xylor Jane, contemporary US painting: optical art

Fast emerging New York painter Xylor Jane uses personalised mathematical formulae to produce vibrant abstraction with a strong resemblance to Op.

Xylor Jane Optical Art now
images © Xylor Jane

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