Art: Making Waves

Of all the short-lived "movements" that agitated the surface of art in the 1960s, Op art had the briefest life. What became of all those eye-teasing patterns, those blips and dazzles and other paraphernalia of quick-shot visual illusion? Gone, mostly: either degenerating into unctuously chic decor—as with European artists like Yaacov Agam or, in his late work, Victor Vasarely—or vanishing into that limbo of taste where obsolete experiments go. Today's supergraphics wrap tomorrow's garbage.

Apart from the Venezuelan artist Jesus-Raphael Soto, only one of the painters on whom the Op label was stuck...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!