Tadasky (Tadasuke Kuwayama) was born in Nagoya, Japan, 1935. He came to the United States on a scholarship to study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI in 1961. Tadasky's first stop was New York where he decided to stay. Tadasky transferred his scholarship to the Art Students League and the Brooklyn Museum Art School in New York, then a locus of study for Japanese immigrants.

Tadasky's primary body of work, begun in the early 1960s, features compositions of concentric circles that trigger optical color interaction and explore sensory stimulation. They are highly calculated and precisely created, consisting of thin, pulsating, vibrantly colored lines that seem to whirl and radiate outward from the center. Tadasky uses a special wheel adapted from a traditional Japanese technique that allows him to paint each ring perfectly.

Philip Johnson was among Tadasky's earliest supporters, purchasing a painting in 1964 and introducing Tadasky's work to fellow architects and curators. A painting by Tadasky appeared in the December 11, 1964 edition of Life magazine in an article titled "Op Art: A dizzying fascinating style of painting." The Museum of Modern Art purchased the featured work, A-101, 1964, as well as B-171, 1964 for its permanent collection. Other early museum collectors were the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Albright-Knox Gallery (purchased 2 works), the Houston Museum of Fine Arts (purchased by James J. Sweeney), and the Phoenix Art Center. Private collectors include Harry Abrams, Seymour Knox, Frederick Weisman, David Rockefeller, and James Michener.

Tadasky's first New York dealer was the prestigious Kootz Gallery which held solo exhibitions in 1964 and 1965. Tadasky also had solo exhibitions in Japan in 1966 at the Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo and at the Gutai Pinacotheca, Osaka. Tadasky then had two solo exhibitions at Fishbach Gallery in 1967 and 1969.

Tadasky participated in seminal Op Art exhibitions including the Museum of Modern Art's The Responsive Eye and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's Kinetic and Optic Art Today both in 1965. The following year, the Museum of Modern Art included Tadasky in its exhibition The New Japanese Painting and Sculpture which traveled to 7 other museums across the country. Tadasky's bright, multicolored compositions were an instant success with the public; in 1968, Springbok Editions manufactured a circular jigsaw titled "Whirling Disks by Tadasky."

Tadasky's work was strongly featured in the Columbus Museum of Art exhibition The Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s with seven works illustrated in the exhibition catalogue. Tadasky's Sixties paintings were also included in Extreme Abstraction at the Albright-Knox Gallery in 2005. Tadasky was recently included in the exhibition Resounding Spirit: Japanese Contemporary Art of the 1960s organized by the Gibson Gallery at SUNY Potsdam which traveled to the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas.



Born: Nagoya, Japan, 1935. United States citizen since 1964.
Has lived and worked in New York City since 1961.


Came to US on a scholarship at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Scholarship student at Art Students League and Brooklyn Museum Art School in New York City.

Opened Grand Street Potters in 1972 in New York City; later moved to Napanoch, NY.

Currently maintains studios in Chelsea, Manhattan, and Ellenville, NY.


One-man exhibitions:

D. Wigmore Fine Art, New York City, 2015, Tadasky/ 1964-2008: Control + Invention, New Criterion Review
David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe NM, 2012, The Circle ReViewed: 1964-2012

Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY 2008 New York Times review

Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo (1966, 1989)

Artisan Gallery, Houston (1970)

Fischbach Gallery, New York (1967, 1969)

Gutai Pinacotheca, Osaka (1966)

Kootz Gallery, New York (January and October 1965)

Two-man exhibitions:
Clossens Gallery, Cincinnatti, Ohio (with Gene Davis)
Gene Davis – Tadasky: Time, Dimension, and Color Explored, D. Wigmore Fine Art, 2013

Major group exhibitions:

David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe: “Post-Op: ‘The Responsive Eye’ Fifty Years After,” 2015

Grand Palais, Paris: “Dynamo: Space and Vision in Art, from Today Back to 1913,” 2013 

Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, FL: “Adapting and Adopting,” 2012-2013

Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Buenos Aires, Argentina: “A Global Exchange. Geometric Abstraction Since 1950,” 2012

D. Wigmore Fine Art, New York: “Four Optic Visionaries” 2008
“Exploring Black and White: The 1930s Through the 1960s,” 2009
“Structured Color,” 2011 

Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, NY: “Pop and Op,” 2008

Freedom to Experiment: American Abstraction, 1945-1975,” D. Wigmore, Fine Art Gallery, New York City, 2007

“Resounding Spirit: Japanese Contemporary Art of the 1960s,” traveling exhibition from  Gibson Gallery at State University of New York at Potsdam, 2007, Ottawa Citizen Review

Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, NY: “Pop and Op,” 2008

Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio: “Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s,” 2007

Albany State Museum, Albany, NY: “Op Art Revisited” 2006

Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY: “Extreme Abstraction,” 2005

Blanton Art Museum, Austin, TX: “Twister: Moving through Color,” 2004

University Art Museum (now Blanton Art Museum), University of Texas at Austin: “The James A. Michener Collection: Twentieth Century American Paintings,” 1977

Princeton University Art Museum, NJ: “William C. Seitz Memorial Collection,” 1977

Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana: “Recent Accessions, 1966-72,” 1972

National Museum of Art, Buenos Aires: “Paintings from the Albright-Knox Gallery Collection” 1969

Washington University Gallery of Art, St. Louis, MO: “Homage to Albers,” 1968

The Jewish Museum, New York, NY: “The Harry N. Abrams Family Collection,” 1967

Asahi Shinbun “17th Annual Susakuten,” Tokyo, 1967

Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA: “Creative Arts Awards, 1957-1966,” 1966

“The New Japanese Painting and Sculpture,” traveling exhibition organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1966

Museum of Modern Art, New York: “Kinetics and Optics,” traveling exhibition 1965-66

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia: “Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture,” 1966

Museum of Modern Art, New York: “The Responsive Eye,” 1965

Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY: “Kinetic and Optic Art Today,” 1965

The Larry Aldrich Museum, “Highlights of the 1964-65 Art Season,” Ridgefield, CT, 1965

Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL: “Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture,” 1965

National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo: “Japanese Artists Abroad,” 1965

“Pop and Op,” traveling exhibition organized by Castelli Gallery, New York, NY, 1965


Selected public collections (based on original acquisitions and other information as available)

Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio
Fralin Museum of Art, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Gutai Pinacotheca, Osaka, Japan
Hallmark Art Collection, Kansas City Missouri
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, New York City
Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Florida
Museo de Arte Contemparaneo de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Museum of Contemporary Art, Nagaoka, Japan
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya, Japan
Ohara Museum of Art, Kurashiki, Japan
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Arizona
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey
Roland Gibson Gallery, State University of New York at Potsdam
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Takamatsu City Museum, Kagawa, Japan
University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut


For more about Tadaky’s life and work:
Joe Houston, “Beyond Perception“, in Tadasky: Control and Invention, 1964-2008, D. Wigmore Fine Art, NYC, 2015 (???)
Julie Karabenick’s Interview with Tadasky (Tadasuke Kuwayama),  Geoform, 2013
Donald Kuspit, “Sacred Circles and Sensate Colors: Tadasky’s Paintings,” in Tadasky: The Circle Re-Reviewed, 1964 to 2012, David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, 2012

Selected references:
Arnason, H.H., History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, 1968
Barr, Alfred, Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art, 1929-1967, 1977
Barrett, Cyril, Op Art, 1970
Barrett, Cyril, An Introduction to Optical Art, 1971
Houston, Joe, Optic Nerve, Perceptual Art of the 1960s, 2007
Kulterman, Udo, The New Painting, 1969
Lampe, Angela, Robert Delaunay, Rythmes Sans Fin, Centre Pompidou exhibition catalog, 2014
Pellegrini, Aldo, New Tendencies in Art, 1966
Popper, Frank, Origins and Development of Kinetic Art, 1968
Rickey, George, Constructivism: Origins and Evolution, 1967/1995
Rosenthal, Erwin, Contemporary Art in the Light of History, 1971/2013
Tiampo, Ming, Gutai: Decentering Modernism, 2011
Weller, Allen S., The Joys and Sorrows of Recent American Art, 1968