REGARDED AS THE FOUNDER of Op Art, Victor Vasarely was born in Hungary and educated there in the national equivalent of the Bauhaus. There he was exposed to the most advanced art of that era, chiefly Cubism and Constructivism, and especially advanced theories of color and design. Vasarely produced art in an Op spirit as early as 1929, painting the alternating black and white stripes of a zebra.
ERIN O’KEEFE explores architectural shapes and properties through photography. These seemingly straightforward photographs are mystifying because it is difficult to see how they were made or even that they are photographs at all. The compositions of boards, plexiglass and dowels are framed in white stained maple wood for a soft yet sleek look. The extraordinary result is that pure color and light becomes the true material subject. The visual abstraction intensifies when the geometric shapes, colors and shadows appear defined and then the eye is fooled into believing a different perspective.
CHRISTIAN WHITE is a contemporary artist whose practice varies between the vivid realism of the two works on display and a more painterly, at times nearly abstract approach, that is probably a more familiar aspect of his oeuvre. Still Life ‘s subject reflects the artists studio with its glazed ceramic pitcher filled with artists supplies and the vase with delicate spring bouquet gathered from his adjacent garden. These forms are represented in a space, which suggests a shelf or boc. This configuration echoes the renaissance idea of art as a window on the world. The space is just deep enough that the objects cast a shadow on the backdrop, but not so shallow as to comprise the very flattened space of a typical trompe l’oeil. Nonetheless, light is so carefully and accurately transcribed, modeling the forms, that the result is utterly convincing.
DERRICK GUILD’S bejeweled potato ironically renders one of natures’ most humble foods as precious and ornamental. He creates a true trompe l’oeil carving, illusionistically painted with add-on stones, presumably where the potato bud would normally be.
JEAN LOWE, a California artist with strong Pop affinities, uses the trope of book cover illustration to produce simulated volumes out of papier–mâché and lacquer. Expressive in handling, their carefully attuned graphic style and exact transcription of printed colors convincingly capture the eye -catching appeal of vernacular book covers. Her satirical images with parody titles take on society’s obsession with a panoply of populist themes including nature, ecology, the body, self-help, advice-lit, and success.
Get ready to be amazed by an exhibition filled with optical illusions and artistic sleight of hand! To separate what’s real from what is a clever ruse in Fool The Eye, takes an alert eye and the willingness to examine art carefully. Enjoy the visual journey.