Richard Anuszkiewicz, American, Primary Hue, 1964, Acrylic on canvas; 167.6 x 167.6 cm (66 x 66 inches), Gift of Richard Brown Baker 72.098
Richard Anuszkiewicz was one of the originators of the Op Art movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Like his mentor, Josef Albers, Anuszkiewicz was a color theorist who created series of paintings exploring color properties within specific geometric forms. Primary Hue generates the optical illusion of nested squares of red, but in fact only a single red-painted ground underlies the radiating lines. The lines alternate color as they radiate, causing the red ground to appear to change color. As with much Op Art, this painting creates an impression by tricking the viewer’s eye rather than actually representing what the eye sees.