Submitted by: Carolyn Brown
UNIT: Op Art - Graphic Design
Lesson: Op Art Cube
Grade Level: Middle School (adaptable for upper elementary)
Click here to see a similar Lesson by Bunki Kramer.
To print the work sheets below, click on the images and select "print". You can also click the "Printer Friendly Version" link above right.
Books on Victor Vasarely
Victor Vasarely: 1906-1997; Pure Vision - Vasarely's experimentation with optical effects in the 1940s and 50s earned him a central role in the evolution of Op Art. Vasarely's boldly colorful and eye-popping paintings are instantly recognizable and remain entirely modern and relevant today.
Vasarely - Widely considered the father of Op Art, the Hungarian-born artist Victor Vasarely was instrumental not only in provoking a school of thought based on the relationship between art and science, but in creating some of the most striking geometric paintings in the history of late Modernism. This book, which gathers together a generous selection of his most significant works, celebrates his immense intelligence, passion, and artistry.
Student Work sheets
SOLS: 8.1, 8.3, 8.12, 8.17
Op Art is short for Optical Art. Following the Pop Art movement of the 1960's, Op Art came on the scene. Initially many referred to it as kinetic art because the art moved or appeared to move because of an illusion. Visual effects that cause illusions include vibrating colors, pulsating patterns, and concentric colors. The patterns disturb the eye and cause it so see movement. Many viewers of Op Art are compelled to turn away because of the effect.
The fathers of the Op Art movement are Josef Albers and Victor Vasarely. Albers experimented with color and discovered that combinations of certain colors did something the colors didn't do by themselves. Vasarely also explored colors and illusions. By combining geometric elements with colors and values, he created retinal vibrations. Another well known Op Art illusionist is Bridget Riley. She worked primarily in black and white with linear waves, billows, and vibrations.
The Op Art period was short and sweet. Although short, Op Art had a strong influence on textile and product design, music, advertising, and interior design.
In this lesson you will study the work of Josef Albers and Victor Vasarely. You will identify the elements of design used in the art and movement. You will be creating a 3D cube using geometric shapes and designs. Elements used should include line, space, and shape. A successful design will create an illusion of movement and will fool and disturb the eye. Your finished art should demonstrate your time and effort as well as use of tools, originality, and craftsmanship.
1. Railroad Tracks: Place a tiny dot in the middle of the top line. On the bottom line, use a ruler to mark dots at ¼ inch intervals (about 6 mm apart). Using a sharp pencil, draw lines to connect the dots on the bottom line to the dot on the top line. This will create the illusion of railroad tracks. (See example below.)
Line #1 ______________________________________________________________
Line #2 ______________________________________________________________
Embodied Visions: Bridget Riley, Op Art and the Sixties - In this new book, based on eight years' research, Frances Follin examines contemporary reviews of Riley's work to reveal the complex associations between these paintings and the culture in which they were produced. Far from being the peripheral art form that some later accounts have presented, Follin shows how Riley's Op work occupies a key position in debates on modernism in the arts and in the future of Western societies.
Bridget Riley: New Paintings and Gouaches - An essential publication for followers of the internationally known abstract painter Bridget Riley, this exhibition catalogue of new paintings is her first show in the UK since 2000. This book is fully illustrated with large color images of previously unseen paintings.
Op Art Design Self-Assessment Sheet
Name _________________________________________________ Period ______________________
1. I used at least 3 globes/cubes in variety of sizes in my design. The use of contrast in size creates variety and an interesting rhythm in my design. (25 pts.)
2. There is a strong use of contrasting color in my design accomplished either through the use of complementary colors or warm/cool colors. I also used Value (lights and darks) and blended colors. (25 pts.)
3. I demonstrated a high level of craftsmanship in my overall design. The inking of my background and objects is accurate and done neatly. I also NEATLY applied color pencil to my design. (35 pts.)
4. I demonstrated as much effort as I could on this project. (15 pts.)