Top 25 Op art artists who changed its history

The 1960s saw the emergence of the 20th-century art movement known as Op art, or Optical art. Abstract geometric patterns that produce optical illusions and deceive the viewer’s perception were a defining feature of the movement.

Op artists used a variety of strategies, including contrast, colour, and geometry, to imply motion or vibration. The end product was a vibrant and visually appealing type of art that tested the perception of the observer and offered a distinctive viewing experience.

Bridget Riley, one of the most well-known Op art artists, frequently uses repeating patterns of lines or circles that, when viewed from various angles, appear to move or vibrate. Victor Vasarely is a well-known op-art artist who frequently used geometric patterns and vibrant colours to produce intricate optical illusions.

1. Victor Vasarely

Op art artists

Born: 9 April 1906, Pécs, Hungary

Died: 15 March 1997, 16th arrondissement of Paris, Paris, France

Full name: Vásárhelyi Győző

Education: Eötvös Loránd University (1925–1927)

  • The artist Victor Vasarely was a French-Hungarian artist who is widely recognized as a “grandfather” and founder of his Op art movement.
  • His work, titled Zebra, which was made in 1937, has been deemed by many to be among the first instances of Op art.
  • He was born in 1927 and quit medicine in order to study classical academic painting in the museum of the private Podolini-Volkmann Academy.
  • He was married in 1930. He married his friend from school, Claire Spinner (1908-1990).
  • They had two sons: Andre as well as Jean-Pierre.


2. Bridget Riley

Op art artists

Born: 24 April 1931 (age 91 years), West Norwood, London, United Kingdom

Periods: Op art, Modern art, Hard-edge painting

Nationality: British

Education: Royal College of Art (1952–1955), MORE

Awards: Sikkens Prize, Goslar Kaiserring, Praemium Imperiale

  • Bridget Louise Riley is an English artist famous for her op-art paintings.
  • She is a resident and worker in London, Cornwall, and the Vaucluse in France.
  • Riley was born on the 24th of April 1931 in Norwood, London.
  • She was the daughter of John Fisher Riley, originally from Yorkshire was an Army officer.
  • He was an engineer by trade and ran his own company.
  • Then, in 1938, the printer moved the printing company and his family to Lincolnshire.


3. Jesús Rafael Soto

Op art artists

Born: 5 June 1923, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela

Died: 14 January 2005, Paris, France

Parents: Luis Rafael García Soto Parra, Emma Soto

Nationality: Venezuelan

Movement: Kinetic and Op Art

  • Jesus Rafael Soto was a Venezuelan musician and kinetic artist, as well as an artist and sculptor.
  • One of the significant art museums in Venezuela, located in his hometown, bears his name in honor of him.
  • From an early old age, Soto was determined to support his family in any way possible, but it was art that was the most fascinating to Soto.
  • He took up guitar and started re-creating famous artworks found in various books, magazines, and almanacs.
  • As of 1938, Soto is a member of a group for students that promotes surrealism. They published in the local magazine a few poems that riled the society.


4. Richard Anuszkiewicz

Op art artists

Born: 23 May 1930, Erie, Pennsylvania, United States

Died: 19 May 2020, Englewood, New Jersey, United States

  • Richard Joseph Anuszkiewicz was an American artist, printmaker, and sculptor.
  • He began his studies in art with Joseph Plavcan while still in high school. Later, he described him as his most significant influence.
  • He was among the pioneers and most prominent exponents of Op Art, a movement in the late 1960s and the early 1970s.


5. Omar Rayo

Op art artists

Born: 20 January 1928, Roldanillo, Colombia

Died: 7 June 2010, Palmira, Colombia

Spouse: Águeda Pizarro (m. ?–2010)

Parents: Vicente Rayo, María Luisa Reyes

Children: Sara Rayo

  • Omar Rayo Reyes was a well-known Colombian artist, sculptor, caricaturist, and plastic artist.
  • Rayo had an initial heart attack in 1998 and then a more severe heart attack in January 2006, which led to him spending an entire day in a coma before recovering.
  • Rayo was transported to a local hospital, where the source of his collapse was determined as a heart attack.
  • On the 20th of January, 2012, Google honored Rayo’s birthday by presenting a Google Doodle.


6. Jean-Pierre Yvaral

Op art artists

Born: 25 January 1934, Paris, France

Died: 2 August 2002, Paris, France

Parents: Victor Vasarely

  • Jean-Pierre Vasarely was a French artist who worked in the fields of op art and the kinetic art movement from 1954 onwards.
  • The artist was the child of Victor Vasarely, who was the first to pioneer op-art.
  • Several learned graphic art and publicity at Ecole des Arts Appliques in Paris 1950 between 1950 and 1953.
  • The artist used this technique to create a variety of portraits, starting with immediately recognizable photographs.


7. Marina Apollonio

Op art artists

Born: 12 November 1940 (age 81 years), Trieste, Italy

Periods: Op art, Kinetic art

  • Marina Apollonio is an Italian painter and optical artist from Italy.
  • She is a resident and worker in Padua.
  • She and her family moved to Venice at the age of eight.
  • In 1975, Apollonio began work based on the orthogonal relationships between parallel lines.


8. Edna Andrade

Op art artists

Born: 25 January 1917, Portsmouth, Virginia, United States

Died: 17 April 2008, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Artworks: Color Motion 4-64, Night Sea, Mariposa, Radiants

Education: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

  • Edna Andrade was an American abstract artist from America. Her work was a pioneer of Op Art.
  • Op Art is a term used to describe the Op Art movement refers to artworks and sculptures that employ optical illusions or optical effects.
  • Op art incorporates graphic elements as well as the use of color, which occurs in other movements.
  • Edna Davis Wright was born on the 25th of January 1917 in Portsmouth, Virginia.
  • While attending the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Andrade was awarded two Cresson Traveling Scholarships.


9. Ludwig Wilding

Op art artists

Born: 19 May 1927, Grünstadt, Germany

Died: 4 January 2010, Buchholz in der Nordheide, Germany

Period: Op art

  • Ludwig Wilding was a German artist whose work is linked to Op art and Kinetic art.
  • Wilding was born in Grunstadt, Germany.
  • He attended the University of Mainz Art School.
  • Wilding’s work is a three-dimensional structure that creates patterns that change with the black and white prints.


10. Alejandro Otero

Op art artists

Born: 7 March 1921, Piar, Venezuela

Died: 13 August 1990, Caracas, Venezuela

Spouse: Mercedes Pardo

Awards: Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada

  • Alejandro Otero was a Venezuelan artist of Geometric abstraction and a sculptor, writer, and advocate for culture.
  • He was a founder member of the Los Disidentes group.
  • In the wake of his study, Otero traveled to New York and Paris, where he concentrated his efforts on the revision of Cubism in 1945. He remained in Paris up to 1952.


11. Gerhard von Graevenitz

Op art artists

Born: 19 September 1934, Schilde, Belgium

Died: 20 August 1983, Switzerland

Education: Akademie der Bildenden Künste München, Goethe University Frankfurt

  • Gerhard von Graevenitz was a German Kinetic artist from Germany.
  • He was also part of the International Group of Zero-Group.
  • He is seen as one of the uncompromising representatives of the constructive-concrete art of the younger generation (since 1958).
  • He was interested in the illusion of motion (Op art) and natural movement with invisible motors and mechanics.


12. Michael Kidner

Op art artists

Born: 11 September 1917, Kettering, United Kingdom

Died: 29 November 2009, London, United Kingdom

Education: Cyprus College of Art

  • Michael James Kidner was a pioneer in Op art in the mid-1960s from Kettering, Northamptonshire, England.
  • In his lifetime, he cultivated an interest in the unpredictability of world events, which triggered unplanned aspects of his work.
  • Kidner was born in Kettering in the UK, his father was an industrialist. He was the youngest of six children.
  • He was living with his sister and their American wife in the US when the war began to break out in Europe.
  • Kidner stated, “Optics poses a problem previously offered by the concept of perspective.”


13. Miroslav Šutej

Op art artists

Born: 29 April 1936, Duga Resa, Croatia

Died: 13 May 2005, Krapinske Toplice, Croatia

Spouse: Marija Branka Košković Šutej (m. ?–2005)

Education: Academy of Fine Arts

  • Miroslav Sutej was a Croatian avant-garde graphic artist.
  • Sutej was born in Duga Resa in 1936.
  • Nadir Afonso was a Portuguese abstract painter who worked in geometrical style.
  • Nadir Afonso was recognized internationally in the early years of his career. Some of his work is in museums.
  • The most well-known of his works is his Citiesseries, which shows cities from all over the globe.
  • He was believed to paint throughout his life and passed away on December 11, 2013, in a hospital in Cascais.


14. Nadir Afonso

Op art artists

Born: 4 December 1920, Chaves, Portugal

Died: 11 December 2013, Cascais, Portugal

Books: The Mechanisms of Artistic Creation, Nadir: Face a Face com Einstein

  • Antonio Asis is an Argentine painter and an advocate in Op Art.


15. Antonio Asis

Op art artists

Born: 1932, Argentina

Died: 2019


16. Aleksandar Srnec

Op art artists

Born: 30 July 1924, Zagreb, Croatia

Died: 27 March 2010, Zagreb, Croatia

  • The artist Aleksandar Srnec was a Croatian artist from Croatia.
  • He is mainly known for his avant-garde design and kinetic and luminous-kinetic art.
  • From 1974 until 1977, he began creating kinetic sculptures using highly polished metals.


17. Dieter Roth

Op art artists

Born: 21 April 1930, Hanover, Germany

Died: 5 June 1998, Basel, Switzerland

Spouse: Sigridur Bjornsdottir (m. 1957–1964)

Children: Björn Roth, Vera Roth, Karl Roth

Parents: Vera Roth, Karl-Ulrich

Known for: Painting, Artist’s books, Printmaking, Installation, Sculpture, Poetry

  • Dieter Roth was a Swiss artist well-known for his books of artist’s work printed editions, sculptures, and pieces composed of materials such as food waste that has rotten.
  • He was also known as Dieter Rot and Dieter Rot.
  • The father was Karl-Dietrich Roth in Hannover, the third son in a family of three.
  • The family relocated from the city of Bern in 1947. There, Roth began his apprenticeship in commercial art.
  • He was a part of several local art shows in addition to writing poetry, creating some of the first sculptures made from organic materials, and trying out Op art.


18. Milton Becerra

Op art artists

Born: 10 August 1951 (age 71 years), Táchira, Venezuela

Periods: Land art, Op art, Environmental art, Kinetic art, Abstract art

  • Milton Becerra is a Venezuelan artist who pioneered the concept of land art in Venezuela in the 1970s.
  • The school he attended was Cristobal Rojas School of Arts. Cristobal Rojas School of Art (1972) in the Jesus Soto promotion.
  • He was a part of his first exhibition collective when the artist was still in school.
  • Born in London in London, the European Land Art movement had distinct concerns from the ones in Latin America.
  • The Land Art in the old continent aims to transport viewers to a remote place where nature lives independently, away from the rustle and sway of the big cities.


19. Andrzej Nowacki

Op art artists

Born: 15 October 1953 (age 68 years), Rabka-Zdrój, Poland

  • Andrzej Nowacki is an Op Art artist of Polish origin who lives and is based in Berlin.
  • Andrzej Todayacki was born on October 15th, 1953, and was raised in Rabka, Poland.
  • He grew up in Krakow.
  • His first experience as an artist was in the field of interior design as well as the restoration of art.
  • In the 1980s, Nowacki realized to himself Polish constructivism in the 1980s.


20. Nicholas Krushenick

Op art artists

Born: 31 May 1929, New York, New York, United States

Died: 5 February 1999, Manhattan, New York, United States

Awards: Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada

Education: The Art Students League of New York (1948–1950)

  • Nicholas Krushenick was an American abstract artist, printmaker, and collagist.


21. Kazys Varnelis

Op art artists

Born: 25 February 1917, Alsėdžiai, Lithuania

Died: 29 October 2010, Vilnius, Lithuania

Books: Dark lens

Parents: Teofilė Domarkaitė, Kazimieras Varnelis

  • Kazys Varnelis was an abstract artist from Lithuania.
  • He was a resident and worker throughout America. The United States of America for fifty years, from 1949 and 1998.
  • His distinctive style of painting demonstrated optical illusions and three-dimensional illusions that are based on geometric abstractions as well as minimal shapes.
  • His style was a blend of minimalism, constructivism, and the concept of op art.
  • He was briefly the Director of the Museum for Ecclesiastical Art before beginning postgraduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 1943.


22. Marcos Marin

Op art artists

Born: 12 September 1967 (age 55 years), São Paulo, State of São Paulo, Brazil

  • Marcos Marin is a Brazilian artist who lives in Monaco.
  • The native of Sao Paulo, Marin initially set out to become a pianist.


23. Andreas Nottebohm

Op art artists

Born: 13 October 1944 (age 77 years), Eisenach, Germany

  • Andreas Nottebohm is a German-American artist whose work is closely associated with op art, visionary art, and space art.
  • He is regarded as among the most important innovators of painting metal.


24. Chizuko Yoshida

Op art artists

Born: 20 March 1924, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

Died: 1 April 2017, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

Children: Ayomi Yoshida

  • Chizuko Yoshida was a Japanese modernist artist; his work reflected the growth of Japan’s art scene in the aftermath of World War II.
  • Her work was an essential link between contemporary art movements and traditional Japanese art.
  • She also played a role because she was the middle point in the lineage of three generations of female artists from the well-known Yoshida family.
  • Even though she later married the Yoshida family of artists, Chizuko-san’s parents weren’t artists.
  • Her first experiences in the arts involved dancing with her school’s Nichigeki Dance Team as a middle schooler.


25. Hugo Demarco

Op art artists

Born: 13 July 1932, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Died: 28 November 1995, Paris, France

  • Hugo Demarco was born in Argentina. He was a French artist associated with the motion (op art) and Nouvelle Tendance movements.
  • Demarco’s work deals primarily with color and movement, and his work often utilized prisms to reflect light and create motion.
  • Hugo Rodolfo Demarco was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 13 July 1932.
  • The man was of Italian descent and then lived in Brescia, Italy.

Other links:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top