Optical painting has been making its presence felt lately, with its 21st-century manifestation swapping the psychedelia and illusionism of its ’60s progenitor, Op Art, for an emphasis on process, systems and formal interrogation. The results are playful, tough, astringent, sensual, and thoroughly Romantic.
No facetiousness intended. Optical or perceptual painting, for all of its rigor and intellection, can be thought of as a vanguard in defense of “aura,” a Romantic credo affirming the power of the art object. Optical painting may look anything but emotional in its content, but its direct engagement with the