Francis Celentano @ Laura Russo Gallery, Oregon, USA

Francis Celentano @ Laura Russo Gallery, Oregon, USA

The Laura Russo Gallery in Portland Oregon, USA is currently running an exhibition by Seattle based ‘first-generation’ Op Artist Francis Celentano.

In the 1960s Francis was the Professor of Painting at the University of Washington and it was there that he began to develop his interest in color theory.  This interest in turn led to his Op Art style of painting.  Francis was quickly recognised as being an important artist in the Op Art movement and his work was featured in the hugely influential exhibition ‘The Responsive Eye’.  More recently, Francis’s work was featured in two major Op Art retrospectives: “Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s” (Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio) and “After Image: Op Art of the 1960s” (Loretta Howard Gallery, New York).

Francis is alive and well today and is still actively painting.

“Seattle artist Francis Celentano’s latest exhibition The Gemini Series presents mesmerizing images that further cement his position in the history of and resurgent interest in Op Art. In this show, Celentano’s acrylic paintings involve the concept of overlapping two identical patterns, and reorienting. He explored the pattern relationships initially using a computer program, and then migrating the designs to his paintings. The series evolves from the intersection of grey and white patterns, to a transformation through a variety of color ranges including blues, greens and reds. As a whole, The Gemini Series of fused patterns generates a dramatic tension in a variety of ways expressed differently by each painting”

Laura Russo Gallery – 805 NW 21st Ave., Portland Oregon, 97209

Tue – Fri 11 – 5:30, Saturday 11 – 5, & by Appointment. Entrance is free.

MACBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

MACBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

MACBA is the MUSEO DE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO BUENOS AIRES, a new museum project that opened on the 1st September 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The focus of the museum is on Geometric Abstraction (a parent of the Op Art movement – so Op Art could loosely be said to be a sub-set of Geometric Abstraction), with the inaugural exhibition titled “A GLOBAL EXCHANGE. GEOMETRIC ABSTRACTION SINCE 1950”.

The museum houses a permanent collection that includes works by Victor Vasarely, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Kenneth Noland as well as many other key Op Artists.

Running from now until the 23th November 2012 is a travelling exhibition held at Centro Cultural Del Bicentario, Santiago Del Estero entitled “Geometrics Today, Expanding Roads” which looks at recent Argentinian Geometric Abstraction (1990s onwards).  To find out more about what’s on display and the current travelling exhibitions, please see here.

From the MACBA website:

“MACBA was born from the passion for art and philanthropy of Aldo Rubino who started his collection in the late ’80s. Over time, the concrete idea of founding a museum to house the growing body of works appeared. Supported by a special interest in geometric abstraction, their occurrences and contemporary art, but without limiting only to these searches, MACBA gathered an important heritage that includes works from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Its collection continues to increase every day with the addition of works by artists who are already part of contemporary art history and others that the museum supports in their growth. “

MACBA is open from Wednesday to Monday and holidays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  It is closed on Tuesday.

Adults: $20 (except Wednesday $10). Students, teachers and seniors (over 65 years old) with accreditation: $10. Under 12 years old: no charge.



Thanks so much to Tony for passing on this information.

Bill Komodore work on sale

Bill Komodore work on sale

The Francis Frost Gallery currently has three works for sale (update: two are now sold so only one remains) by Op Artist Bill Komodore (1932-2012).

Bill Komodore was one of the ‘first generation’ of Op Artists producing a lot of his work (including these) in the 1960s.

His painting “Vermont” was featured in the MoMA’s 1965 “The Responsive Eye” exhibition. “Gondisapur” (below but sold already) was also loaned to the Museum of Modern Art, and was included in the travelling exhibion of “The Responsive Eye” which toured the USA in 1965 and 1966.

If you want to own a piece of history and have a few thousand dollars to spare, I would suggest you get in touch with Francis at the Francis Frost gallery.




Denise René dies aged 99

Denise René dies aged 99

The influential and pioneering gallery owner Denise René has died aged 99.

René was an extremely important figure in the world of abstract art (including Op Art).  She was putting on shows for artists like Piet Mondrian, Kasimir Malevich and Victor Vasarely at a time when other curators were dismissing their works and refusing to display them or take them seriously.

Her decision to put on an exhibition of Vasarely’s work in 1944 and the show’s subsequent success was a key factor in Vasarely’s decision to quit his commercial graphic design job and pursue art full time.

In 1965 the famous landmark Op Art exhibition the ‘Responsive Eye’ owes much to Denise René.  The curator of the exhibition (William Seitz) asked René for her help in assembling the pieces for the show.  Her incredible knowledge and understanding of which pieces and artists should be exhibited made the Responsive Eye the runaway success it was.

In view of the above and for numerous other reasons, it could be argued that René was essential to the development of the Op Art movement.

You can read a more detailed obituary here.