Curated by Cynthia Goodman
The Contemporary Arts Center exhibits the work of this internationally significant artist to coincide with the unveiling of his design for Fifth Third Bank's Sixth Street Façade facing the CAC. In addition to the models and preparatory drawings, a collection of Julian Stanczak's work from throughout his career provide a context for his newest monumental project.
Polish-born Stanczak trained under Josef Albers and Conrad Marca-Relli at Yale University's School of Art and Architecture. He brought this background to the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he taught from 1957-1964.
Stanczak's work is characterized by scientific precision and the illusion of pulsating motion. Using repeated line patterns, his work studies the optical behavior of colors in close proximity to each other. His work earned him the moniker "Father of Op Art."
On lines, he writes: "I found line - repeated line with its potent timing - paralleling many aspects of daily life. From the point of action, line behavior is distinct from color; line activates the surface of the canvas more than a single flat color. This activation of a surface through various oppositions of values and wavelengths of line in different situations, offers not a stable but an endlessly active surface, which is controlled by the range of color-fusion and tempo."
The effect is not just visual, but also visceral, as the repetitious patterns appear to emerge and change while remaining clearly static. Stanczak first exhibited at the CAC in 1961, and has since exhibited all over Ohio and the world.