• Victor Vasarely, KEIHO-C2, 1963, casein on Masonite mounted on panel, 32 x 29 1/2". © 2006 Victor Vasarely/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

    “Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s”

    Columbus Museum of Art
    480 East Broad Street
    February 16–June 17, 2007

    Curated by Joe Houston

    Op art has never enjoyed a particularly high standing among postwar movements. For one, it never fit into Clement Greenberg’s ideas regarding “opticality” and the inevitable trajectory of modernism, and so he consigned it—along with Pop and Minimalism—to the graveyard of “novelty” art. But the flash of sensory overload that Op promised never quite died a quiet death. In the early 1980s, painters like Ross Bleckner and Philip Taaffe played fast and loose with the conventions of this “degraded” movement, and it has continued to exert a pull on subsequent generations. Accompanied by a catalogue with essays by curator Joe Houston and by art critic Dave Hickey, this show—Op’s largest since the Museum of Modern Art’s definitive 1965 exhibition “The Responsive Eye”—comprises some one hundred works by fifty-five artists, including Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, and Frank Stella.