(P)on Art

Even though the terms are only 1 letter apart, the two art movements 'op art' and 'pop art' do not have much in common. Avoid confusion and understand the differences.

On art

Op Art comes from the English word 'optical art' which means optical art. The term was first used in Time in 1964 and the first exhibition took place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965,  under the title The Responsive Eye . It is a movement in modern visual art that seems to have the aim of fooling the viewer by means of  all sorts of optical illusions. Colours, lines and volumes are presented in such a way that the work almost seems to move. As a result, Op Art is often seen as related to Kinetic Art, art that actually moves. But with Op Art, that movement is only suggested. This can take place in two ways: there are works in which the movement within the object is suggested, and there are works in which the effect of movement is created when the viewer moves in relation to the work.

Well-known op-art artists include Agam, Morellet, Bridget Riley, Soto and Vasarely.

Richard Anuszkiewicz, 1972
pop arts

Pop art is the name for a visual art movement that found its inspiration in the industrialized mass culture that emerged in the 1950s. The name was coined at this time by British critic Lawrence Alloway and the first Pop Art exhibition took place at London's Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1956, called This is Tomorrow. The pop art artists worked in a wide variety of styles and techniques, but without exception always figurative. These artists borrowed the themes from the communication media, the advertising world, the contemporary environment, technology, industry, the car cult, etc. Pop Art has something impersonal and banal and shows the face of Western, industrialized society in a clichéd way. To express this, 'impersonal' mechanical printing techniques such as screen printing were used. Grids and photographic processes were also used.

Well-known pop art artists include Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Richard Hamilton.

Mel Ramos, Navel Orange, 2013