Michelle Genders @ Paper Plane Gallery

Michelle Genders @ Paper Plane Gallery

Michelle Genders ‘Phenomenal’ opens tomorrow at the Paper Plane Gallery, 727 Darling Street Rozelle, New South Wales, Australia.  Entrance to the exhibition is free.

Michelle Genders - Infinite

Michelle Genders - Infinite

“In the midst of making work, I’ve always found myself trying to create an illusion. I decided to embrace this tendency and began investigating Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s visual illusions. He studies the underlying mechanisms of visual perception in the brain and generates illusions that activate those mechanisms. As compared with ‘Op Art’ of the 1960’s, advances in computer technology and neuroscience have generated illusions of increased complexity and intensity.

Michelle Genders - Things you can see to indicate things that you can't see 1

Michelle Genders - Things you can see to indicate things that you can't see 1

I began to develop my own drawings and small-scale sculpture in response to the Professor’s illusions, and the papers that he writes about them, by using some of the principals he employs. Upon review of the Professor’s website, and the work I’d been making, I realised I’d originally been drawn to particular illusions, and created certain forms in response to them, because I was reading meaning into them.”

The exhibition opens on 28th March 2012 (6-8pm) and runs from the 29th of March until 15th Apri.  Opening times are Thu & Fri 12 to 6pm, Sat & Sun 11am to 4pm.

Josef Albers @ The Pompidou Centre, Paris, France

Josef Albers @ The Pompidou Centre, Paris, France

Josef Albers en Amerique” is currently on at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, France.  The exhibition brings together around 80 works and traces the artistic journey foreshadowing the “Homage to the Square” series, starting with his early works on paper.  It is the first time that such a large number of pieces have been exhibited in Europe and contains many rarely exhibited pieces.

Josef Albers, Color study for homage to the square, platinium, not dated

Josef Albers, Color study for homage to the square, platinium, not dated

There are two additional rooms of the show which look at Albers’ influence on his students, many of whom were pioneering Op Artist themselves, including Kennth Noland, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Eva Hesse and Robert Rauschenberg.

The exhibition runs until the 30th April 2012.  If you are anywhere near Paris, I would highly recommend that you pay the exhibition a visit.

You can find out more about the exhibition at the Pompidou Centre website.

Josef Albers en Amérique – du 8 février au 30… by centrepompidou

Op Art Play House

Op Art Play House

US based architecture, construction and development firm ‘The Beck Group’ created this interesting Op Art play house for children for a Giving Gala 2011 charity event in Dallas, Texas (USA).  The “design concept was motivated by a big zebra in the green grassland”.  The play house was constructed using plywood 4″ insulation foam which was cut by a CNC machine.

Thanks to Nathalie for pointing this one out to me.

Robin Hunnam

Robin Hunnam

Robin Hunnam creates both digital and photographic Op Art.  He studied graphic design at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, went on to work as an art director in a London Advertising Agency and now works a designer and illustrator.

The two most important lessons that I learnt during the course were that at its heart, design is really only concerned with problem solving and that a great idea is always better than a great technique.  This realisation was never more important than during my career as an art director in London advertising agencies – places where ideas are the most valuable currency.

Great ideas are about simplicity and about stripping away the unnecessary or the merely decorative. Op Art is a dramatic example of the visual power of simplicity. Some of the most memorable artworks from the movement are even devoid of colour, tone and variety of line and shape.”

Robin cites Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely as major influences; it was M. C. Escher however who was the most influential on the development of Robin’s art and design work.

His work has an elegance of idea and execution. When I look through his body of work I see behind it the countless initial ideas, the failures and dead-ends that came before the final piece. By the time that the viewer first sees the completed work, there is a sense that it has always existed. His ability to create a visual magic that is greater than the sum of the visual parts will never fail to inspire me.

“I strive to make my work look effortless and even obvious – trying to keep it a secret that it took many initial pencil sketches before it even began to take shape on the computer. I work on an Apple iMac and use Adobe CS4 – primarily the Illustrator program. I am most at ease with Illustrator simply because it thinks like I do and it looks kindly on people who can really draw in the old-fashioned way.”

“I believe it is important to look beyond the narrow confines of western art and design for inspiration in one’s own work and I spend time researching arts and crafts from other times and other cultures including Japan, Polynesia, first nation America, and Africa. It is humbling to realise that artists and craftsmen for millennia have wrestled with and resolved the same visual problems that I try to today.”

You can see more of Robin’s Op Art work on his website, Grasshoppermind.

Op Art Photography: Nick Benson

Op Art Photography: Nick Benson

Nick Benson was inspired to create this beautiful Op Art photo whilst doing research for his 2D Colour Theory class.  From Wikipedia: “Although being relatively mainstream, photographers have been slow to produce op art. In painting, Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley were producing large amounts of art and the same can be said for many digital artists, such as Kitaoka. One of the primary reasons for the lack of photographers doing op art, is the difficulty in finding effective subject matter

Limitless - Nick Benson Photography

Limitless - Nick Benson Photography

Nick says:  “I took that last sentence as a challenge. Here’s my first attempt at some Photographic Op Art, as well as the steps I took in creating this.

– I found a subject matter on the University of Hartford’s campus

– Took the photo using my Sigma 10-20mm lens to create more prominent vanishing points

– Processed the camera’s RAW image file in Adobe Lightroom 3

– Cropped the photo down to an 11×14 aspect ratio for a more effective compositon

– In Photoshop CS5 I inverted the colors and added a cooling filter, to create the three major classes of color interaction; simultaneous contrast, successive contrast, and reverse contrast.

Nick says he is planning to take more Op Art inspired photos in the near future, so please keep an eye on the new Op Art Photography Gallery where we’re hoping to see more of Nick’s work soon.  In the meanwhile, you can see more of Nick’s inspiring photos at Nick Benson Photography on Flickr.

A Flag for the Forgotten - Nick Benson

A Flag for the Forgotten - Nick Benson