Death at 89 of Richard Anuszkiewicz, pioneer of Op Art at MoMA in New York

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EXCLUSIVE – Pupil of Josef Albers, great name of the Bauhaus, this American painter embodies a current which changed the 1960s and 1970s, with Vasarely in France and Bridget Riley in England. Two art historians pay tribute to him.

Portrait of Richard Anuszkiewicz in front of his work, Silent Red Square, by collector Aldo Rubino who owns three paintings by the artist.
Portrait of Richard Anuszkiewicz in front of his work, Silent Red Square, by collector Aldo Rubino who owns three paintings by the artist. Courtesy SL

And the painting vibrates in the spectator’s retina! This is the purpose of Op Art, a movement which intended to challenge Pop Art in the 1960s and whose founders are gradually disappearing. Last summer saw the Venezuelan Carlos Cruz-Diez, 95, a wonderful apostle of color, a patriarch adored by all and a Parisian by adoption (1923-2019), at the age of 95. A few days ago, we learned of the death at 91 years of the Brazilian artist Abraham Palatnik, the precursor of kinetic art, who died in his adopted city of Rio, on May 9, victim of Covid-19. Now the New York scene is losing Richard Anuskiewicz.

Richard Anuskiewicz, born in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1930 to parents of Polish Jewish immigrants, died at the age of 89 on May 19, 2020, in his home town of Englewood, New Jersey, where his workshop was held. An American figure closely associated with MoMA in New York where he was a curator in 1957, he was a Yale student of Josef Albers, the prominent Bauhaus defector at the legendary Black Mountain College.

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