Richard Anuszkiewicz is an American painter, born in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1930. His work is representative of the op art movement. "Op art" (analogous to the term "pop art") is an abbreviation of "optical art." It was loosely used in the '60s to refer to a class of geometrical abstraction that exploits perceptual ambiguities and other marginal optical devices in order to shock and disrupt vision, causing the work to seem to vibrate, pulsate, or flicker and sometimes creating a hallucinatory appearance of movement. The purpose of optical art is to activate vision by imparting the strongest possible retinal experiences, which is done by exploiting visual ambiguities, so that as the visual system is fatigued the eye fluctuates in an attempt to evoke and maintain a consistent image. For that purpose, op artists elaborated on the well-known visual illusions from the standard textbooks on perceptual psychology. This exploitation of scientific principles in artistic creation was perceived to be an ultimate expression of the modernist ideology and as such was harshly critiqued by a group of the New York–based "neo-geo" artists in the '80s.
Richard Anuszkiewicz’s Spectral Cadmium, which will be on display in the Handwerker Gallery’s Permanent Collection Showcase, fully inscribes the op are logic. We invite your thoughts and comments on this dazzling encounter between art and science.