Artists by Movement:
1950's to 1960's
Optical Art is a mathematically-themed form of Abstract art, which uses repetition of simple forms and colors to create vibrating effects, moiré patterns, foreground-background confusion, an exaggerated sense of depth, and other visual effects.
In a sense, all painting is based on tricks of visual perception: manipulating rules of perspective to give the illusion of three-dimensional space, mixing colors to create the impression of light and shadow, and so on. With Optical Art, the rules that the viewer's eye uses to try to make sense of a visual image are themselves the "subject" of the artwork.
In the mid-20th century, artists such as Victor Vasarely, Josef Albers and M.C. Escher experimented with Optical Art. Escher's work, although not abstract, deals extensively with various forms of visual tricks and paradoxes.
In the 1960's, the term "Op Art" was coined to describe the work of a growing group of abstract painters. This movement was led by Vasarely and Bridget Riley, and included such artists as Richard Anuszkiewicz, François Morellet and Jesús-Rafael Soto.