Richard Anuszkiewicz was among the originators of Op art, a style of painting concerned with visual sensation and the effect of optical illusion.
Anuszkiewicz studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art (1948–53), the Yale University School of Art and Architecture (1953–55), and Kent State University (B.S. in education, 1956). In 1967 he was artist in residence at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., and later taught at the University of Wisconsin, Cornell University, and Kent State University.
Anuszkiewicz’ canvases depict tight geometric shapes in vivid colours that seem to shift under the eye. His “All Things Live in the Three” (1963) has three orange diamonds with green dots on a background of red with blue dots and with red patterns in the orange diamonds.
When Anuszkiewicz's Centered Squares were first shown in 1979, veteran critic John Gruen used his review in ARTnews to place the new works in context: 'Of the American artists who rose to prominence during the Op art movement of the early 1960s, Anuszkiewicz is perhaps the only one to have held fast to his vision,' adding, 'In England, Bridget Riley has also done so.'3 Still ahead were the Temples and Translumina — two major series of the artist's maturity, in which the color auras evoke a shimmering spirituality.
Anuszkiewicz belongs to the small number of great artists who construct their life's work with all the hallmarks of a series: lucidity, progress, and, above all, depth. Like his mentor Josef Albers, like Piet Mondrian — like Giorgio Morandi, just to name a representational painter — Anuszkiewicz focuses his vision on the limitless possibilities of a single theme. In his case, the theme is not a single motif, but an insistence on color.
Museum Collections Include:
Art Institute of Chicago
Dallas Museum of Art, Texas
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Museum of Modern Art, New York City
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.
Tate Gallery, London, UK
Akron Art Museum, Ohio
Canton Museum of Art, Ohio
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri
Missoula Art Museum, Montana
Museum of the National Academy of Design, New York City
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma
Orlando Museum of Art, Florida
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art
San Diego Museum of Art, California
Wichita Art Museum, Kansas