Julian Stanczak

MOCA Cleveland

One of the leading exponents of Op art even before a 1964 review by Donald Judd gave the movement its name, eighty-one-year-old Julian Stanczak has maintained a dogged commitment to that manner of painting, which highbrow critics almost immediately dismissed as cheap, regressive, and populist. Though Op is often seen as a period trend, in years hence a few of the movement’s other founding figures, including Bridget Riley and François Morellet, have, like Stanczak, found ways to expand the implications and applications of Op’s manipulations of perception.

But Stanczak’s ongoing engagement with Op is particularly compelling. As with Riley, whose critical reception has been inflected by questions surrounding gender and the artist’s body, any thorough critical understanding of Stanczak’s attachment to the exacting, laborintensive process of building his paintings, and to the severe, beguiling

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