“Moving Vision” of op art and kinetics will feature doctors and scientists in virtual programs


A new exhibit opened at the Oklahoma City Art Museum on February 20, “Moving Vision: Op and Kinetic Art from the Sixties and Seventies,” showcases movement – both real and perceived.

“Moving Vision”, organized by the OKCMOA, highlights one of the great strengths of the museum’s permanent collection – extensive and highly valued collections in op (optical) and kinetic (movement) art. The Museum will produce an original and illustrated catalog for the exhibition, contributing significantly to scholarship around these deeply innovative artistic movements.

Beginning in the mid-20th century, two distinct but complementary art movements brought something innovative, delicious and fun to artistic practices in two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms. In the case of Op art, artists created the perception of movement and the illusion of depth using two-dimensional surfaces; while with kinetic art, artists have experimented with the displacement of three-dimensional shapes. This exhibition brings together these two movements to tell the story of the explorations of the artists’ movement in the 60s and 70s.

“This groundbreaking exhibition combines art and science in a fascinating and exciting way,” said exhibition curator Roja Najafi. doctorate “Op and kinetic art has placed the viewer’s perception at the center of the work. Op art has used geometric patterns, contrasting colors, and light and shadow to create optical effects that confuse and excite the eye. Kinetic art relied on the actual movement produced by electric motors, gravity, air currents, or human manipulation to move the sculptures. ‘Moving Vision’ aims to bring the element of surprise and fun back to the galleries. The works change as viewers approach and move, so each visitor will have a completely unique viewing experience.

The optical illusion was not new to artists; linear and atmospheric perspectives were used in the Renaissance, and the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists experimented with the illusion at the end of the 19th century. But, Op art emerged at a time when abstraction was synonymous with serious art and offered a playful and accessible alternative art form.

With new materials such as acrylic, plexiglass and aluminum, kinetic artists broke with traditional sculpture in marble or bronze. Suspending and automating their objects, the sculptures were no longer frozen in space but could move and respond to the environment they shared with the viewer.

“Programming unique to this exhibit will feature not only artists and historical scholars, but also physicians and scientists,” said Bryon Chambers, Head of Programming and Partnerships, OKCMOA. “We are delighted to welcome ophthalmologist Dr Maria Lim for a virtual presentation, ‘The Science of Sight’. Participants can explore the physiology of the eye, learn how we see, and study visual processing in the brain while viewing the art presented.

Chambers added, “Our programming continues to be virtual to allow us to reach as many people as possible in a safe and engaging manner.”

“Moving Vision” will bring together more than 40 works focusing on the Museum’s masterpieces of op and kinetic art, as well as a series of historically significant loans from large private collections. The exhibition reviews more than two decades of op and kinetic art, featuring the founder of kinetic art, Alexander Calder; influential op artist Victor Vasarely; and other internationally renowned artists such as Bridget Riley, Fletcher Benton and many others who deserve greater recognition.

“Moving Vision” will be on view until May 16th.

Program cost and registration information is available at okcmoa.com/movingvision

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