March 4, 2015
Responding to “The Responsive Eye”: A Santa Fe Gallery Showcases Op Art’s Thriving Legacy
March 4, 2015
Heather Corcoran

It’s hard to imagine now—with op art’s place so firmly established in the canon of 20th-century avant-garde movements—that when the first major museum survey of the style opened, an editor from the New York Times wrote a letter denouncing the paper’s own glowing review of the movement. But that’s just what happened when the exhibition “The Responsive Eye” opened at MoMA in 1965.

Now, 50 years later, that era-defining exhibition is the starting point for a series of shows at Santa Fe’s David Richard Gallery, the first of which, “Post-Op: ‘The Responsive Eye’ Fifty Years After” brings together more than 34 objects by 17 artists dealing with issues at the heart of op.

The original exhibition was so groundbreaking that it drew more than 180,000 onlookers to take in this curious new style, where images seemed to jump and move depending on how the viewer looked at them. The effect was so jarring that museum guards were given permission to wear sunglasses. New York Times critic John Canaday heralded the exhibition, which was organized by William C. Seitz and featured geometric abstractions from artists ranging from British artist Bridget Riley to former Josef Albers student Richard Anuszkiewicz, as “one of the most exciting artistic events in a decade.”

In response, Times staffer Lester Markel wrote his rebuttal in the paper and later spoke to television reporter Mike Wallace, criticizing the form: “It is fascinating as a technique, but it is not art at all.” While the show was divisive, one thing was certain: with its crisp, clean lines and high-tech appeal op was the perfect visual expression for the space age—and the style was quickly adopted by the worlds of fashion and advertising.

The new show at David Richard Gallery looks beyond the basic definition of op art to investigate the ways artists have explored visual perception over the past half century. The artists included in the gallery show were participants in the original “Responsive Eye” exhibition, including Hannes Beckmann, Tadasky and Anuszkiewicz, and the exhibition looks at works made right up to the present day that showcase these pioneers’ continuing interest in the relationship between art and optics. Throughout the year the gallery will expand the scope of its investigations into op, looking at other artists who embody the spirit of the movement today.

Source Link:   More information

Associated Artist

Associated Exhibitions

Associated News

  • April 1, 2015

  • March 20, 2015

  • March 4, 2015

  • February 25, 2015

News Archive

February 14, 2019
February 17, 2018
February 8, 2018
January 22, 2018
October 1, 2017
September 30, 2016
November 18, 2015
October 20, 2015
August 29, 2015
July 16, 2015
February 24, 2015
February 19, 2015
January 16, 2015
October 18, 2014
June 1, 2014
April 30, 2014
April 1, 2014
March 28, 2014
March 19, 2014
March 6, 2014
March 1, 2014
February 15, 2014
January 31, 2014
October 18, 2013
October 8, 2013
September 12, 2013
December 18, 2012
September 26, 2012
May 31, 2012
June 20, 2011
David Richard Gallery, LLC

211 East 121st Street, New York, NY 10035 | p (212) 882-1705
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Wednesday - Saturday | 12:00 - 6:00 p.m. Sunday or by appointment

Santa Fe, NM | p (505) 983-9555 | by appointment