The Op Art Vessel

Tom Orr’s Vessel is a three-dimensional sculpture, but it also creates an amazing visual feature of moire patterns that echo historically the Op Art of the Sixties. Moires are the appearance of wavy lines that form when two separate sets of lines overlap.

Vessel’s waves of moire, TOM ORR, Vessel, 2009, powder coated steel, Collection of Goldman-Kuenz Sculpture Park

Vessel at night
Two of the major innovators of Op Art, Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely, were together in the 1965 exhibition The Responsive Eye at MoMA. The show brought Op Art onto the international stage.
Op artists pursued 2D and 3D experiments involving light, illusion, perception, and the physical and psychological dimensions of color.

BRIDGET RILEY, Stretch, 1964, Whitechapel Gallery, London; Blaze Study, 1962; Movement in Squares, 1961; both WikiArt
Bridget Riley (b.1931) was a master painter of 2D optical illusions. Riley gained international recognition with The Responsive Eye exhibition. During the 60s, Riley became Great Britain’s number one art celebrity. Riley excelled at presenting differing black-white or color palettes with optic affects.

VICTOR VASARELY, Vega 200, 1968, WikiArt 

VICTOR VASARELY, Holld (Moire Tower), 1989, MFA Gallery, Oakland, CA
Victor Vasarely (1906 – 1997) was also a leader creating innovative works based on his study of color theory, perception, and illusion. The social context of art was more important to him than an isolated artist making art for a few; Vasarely wanted art to reach mass audiences.

We can imagine Cedarhurst’s Vessel as it moves effortlessly through the park creating optical waves of moire patterns in its wake.