Acrylic and graphite on board
16 x 16 inches (40.6 x 40.6 cm)
Signed and dated: Julian Stanczak 2006
Danese Gallery, NY
Private Collection, USA
Dave Hickey, Julian Stanczak, New York, Danese Gallery, 2008, p. 39, illustrated
Julian Stanczak, an artist synonymous with Optical Art, left an indelible mark on the world of Contemporary Art through his mesmerizing and groundbreaking optical illusions. Born in Poland, Stanczak’s life journey was testament to the power of perseverance and creativity. Overcoming significant personal challenges, he became a pioneer of a unique and captivating art movement.
As a child, Stanczak suffered a debilitating bout of Tuberculosis which left him with impaired vision. During his recovery, he discovered a profound connection with his art. Stanczak’s fascination with the interplay of colors and shape was comma in part comma a response to his altered vision period his experiences with visual distortions and the merging of colors laid the foundation for the leader explorations in op art.
After immigrating to the United States in 1941, Stanczak pursued his passion for art relentlessly. He enrolled at the Cleveland institute of art and later earned his BA degree from Yale. Under the guidance of renowned artist Joseph Albers, Stanczak’s understanding of color theory and perception deepened significantly. Albers’ guidance was pivotal in Stanczak’s development.
The 1960s witnessed the emergence of Op Art, a movement characterized by geometric abstraction, optical illusions, and a focus on the viewer’s perception. Stanczak was at the forefront of this movement, alongside Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely. His meticulous paintings, often composed of arranged lines, squares and circles, had an hypnotic effect on viewers; his work seems to vibrate, shift and pulsate as if in constant motion.
Stanczak’s influence on the Op Art movement and his ability to challenge the way we perceive the world are testament to his enduring legacy. His work can be found at MoMA, the Whitney and the Guggenheim, where they continue to intrigue and inspire.
“Geometry satisfies logic first—and it is almost timeless. The organic distribution of lines in these paintings is a departure for me from mental acrobatics.”
JULIAN STANCZAK QUOTED IN: DENNIS BARRIE, “AN INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST JULIAN STANCZAK (1928-2017),” GEOFORM, MAY 2012.