Acrylic on panel
8 panels, each: 16 by 16 in. 40.6 by 40.6 cm.
Acrylic on panel
17 by 15 in. 43.2 by 38.1 cm.
Acrylic on canvas
36 by 104 in. 91.4 by 264.2 cm.
Red + Red
Acrylic on canvas
38 by 38 in. 96.5 by 96.5 cm.
Acrylic on canvas
48 by 48 in. 121.9 by 121.9 cm.
Acrylic on canvas
72 by 72 1/8 in. 182.9 by 183.2 cm.
Burning Through Yellow
Acrylic on canvas
48 by 48 1/8 in. 121.9 by 122.2 cm.
Acrylic on canvas
41 by 41 in. 104.1 by 104.1 cm.
b. November 5, 1928, Borownica, Poland
d. March 25, 2017, Seven Hills, Ohio
Fueled by his own personal history of shifting geography, the perceptual effect of one of Stanczak’s paintings can range from the most subtle, vibrating glow to an electrical, rhythmic oscillation. Stanczak’s reverence for color came from a desire to translate the drama and power of nature into a universal impression. His canvases were created through a complex process of tape masks in which colors were systematically added and unveiled in layers. While incredibly methodical, Stanczak worked alone on his canvases without the aid of preliminary sketches, relying solely on his own vision of a finished work.
Julian Stanczak was born in Borownica, Poland in 1928 and died in Seven Hills, Ohio in March of 2017. He received his M.F.A from Yale University in 1956, where he studied with Josef Albers and Conrad Marca-Relli. His work has been included in exhibitions in the U.S. and internationally from 1948 to the present day. Important group shows include The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1965; Paintings in the White House at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1966; and Ghosts in the Machine at the New Museum, New York, 2012. Significant surveys of his work include Julian Stanczak: 50 Year Retrospective, Cleveland Institute of Art, Ohio, 2001; and most recently Line Color Illusion: 40 Years of Collecting Julian Stanczak, Akron Art Museum, Ohio, 2013. His work is included in notable collections such as Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
All images © Julian Stanczak.
Stanczak's Succession, 1980-2013, emantes light - Barbara Stanczak explains how Julian Stanczak carefully balanced 30 different colors to create the painting’s luminous effect and writes about why this work remains one of her favorites. In the essay, she details two enduring goals of Stanczak’s artistic practice: achieving “color melt-down” and “metamorphosis.”
A new essay explores how Stanczak created the warm, radiant glow of Green Light, 1973. “In Green Light, neither shapes nor colorants fight for individual recognition; rather, they are all subservient to the filtration of warm light. ” —Barbara Stanczak on Green Light, 1973. Click to read the full essay.
Welcome back to the Stanczak Color Quarterly, the newsletter celebrating the work of seminal Op Artist and master colorist Julian Stanczak. Read on to discover more about Chase, 1976–77, and to learn more about recent Stanczak exhibitions and news. Chase shows four curving columns, divided into pairs of two. The pairs appear to be painted using two different sets of colors. However, within every column, Stanczak applied the same colors in the same order—with only one exception. In a new essay, Barbara Stanczak shares the colors used (showing the original color swatch) and details Julian Stanczak's method for effecting the dramatic visual color shifts we see on the canvas.
Welcome back to the Stanczak Color Quarterly, the newsletter celebrating the work of seminal Op Artist and master colorist Julian Stanczak. This issue features a 1998 work, Low Sound. At first glance, Low Sound appears to be painted in black and white. A closer look reveals the painting's predominant color to be purple (or, to be precise, two different purples). “Low Sound looks deceptively simple upon first encounter, but the longer the viewer spends with the painting, the more they experience a number of magical touches. ” —Barbara Stanczak on Low Sound
Welcome back to the Stanczak Color Quarterly, the newsletter celebrating the work of seminal Op Artist and master colorist Julian Stanczak. In this issue, we investigate a 2013 work to discern the number of colors used to create the distinctive Stanczak ‘glow.’ Read on to discover more; to hear about recent Stanczak exhibitions; and to see press coverage of the new Stanczak documentary. Plus, we highlight an exciting new international collaboration.
Julian Stanczak, a native of Poland who pioneered Op Art in the 1960s, was a poet of light and color. He carried out his work for decades in Cleveland with almost unimaginable precision for a right-handed person who lost the use of his right arm after suffering beatings in a Soviet labor camp during World War II. Stanczak also enjoyed a late-in-life surge of interest in his work and a big leap in his prices before he died in 2017 at age 88. And now, thanks to New York-based documentary film director Tomasz Magierski, also a native of Poland, Stanczak is about to get his due, cinematically speaking. On Sunday at 3:30 p.m., the Cleveland Institute of Art, where Stanczak taught for decades as a revered professor, will host the world premiere of “Julian Stanczak: To Catch the Light,’’ an hourlong documentary on the artist and his life.
Welcome back to the Stanczak Color Quarterly, the newsletter celebrating the work of seminal Op Artist and master colorist Julian Stanczak. This issue presents three paintings that each use different means to hold our attention as they play with our perceptions of light and depth. While all three use a similar geometric structure, the colors on each canvas engender vastly different experiences for the observer. Read on to discover more about each work, view recent Stanczak exhibitions, and see press coverage—including a vintage clipping from the archives.
Welcome back to the Stanczak Color Quarterly. This newsletter celebrates the work of seminal Op-Artist Julian Stanczak, honoring his rigorous investigation—and enduring love—of color. We're happy to present this 2nd issue, which invites you to explore Brisk, 1980.
This newsletter celebrates the work of seminal Op-Artist Julian Stanczak, honoring his rigorous investigation—and enduring love—of color. Our inaugural issue invites you to enjoy his 16-panel constellation painting Complementaries = Yellow, 2007.
Julian Stanczak is included in Bauhaus and America. Experiments in Light and Motion, a group exhibition that focuses on artists who, after the Bauhaus was closed in 1933, emigrated to America to carry forward their ideas and experiments there.
Julian Stanczak is included in the group exhibition, Bauhus and America, held on the occasion of the 100-year anniversary of the Bauhaus.
Julian Stanczak and Jessica Stockholder are included in the FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art's first edition titled An American City: Eleven Cultural Exercises, running July 14, 2018 through September 30, 2018.
Julian Stanczak is the subject of DUO, a solo exhibition of geometric paintings with a reduced pairing of two colors at Diane Rosenstein in Los Angeles.
Watch the short documentary titled Harmonies of the Abstract about Julian Stanczak by Vincent Prochoroff.
The Museum of Modern Art has reinstalled its fourth-floor collection galleries with works exclusively from the 1960s. Interweaving works from all of MoMA’s curatorial departments and the Museum Archives, this presentation focuses on a decade in which interdisciplinary artistic experimentation flourished, traditional mediums were transformed, and sociopolitical upheaval occurred across the globe. The galleries proceed chronologically, with work installed by year. This organizing principle steps back from the classification of galleries by art historical themes or “isms” and instead aims to provide a variety of fresh discoveries and unexpected connections. The product of a collaborative effort among curators from all departments, the presentation will undergo periodic reinstallations, reflecting the depth and richness of the Museum’s collection and the view that there are countless ways to explore the history of modern art, architecture, design, and the moving image.
In celebration of fifty year anniversary of William Seitz's "The Responsive Eye"at MoMA, MACBA has organized "Geometric Obsession," bringing together 30 pieces of American abstract art in dialogue with contemporary artists who have continued the Op Art legacy to the present.
Line Color Illusion: 40 Years of Julian Stanczak showcases paintings and prints collected by the Akron Art Museum since 1970. The exhibition documents both Julian Stanczak’s impressive career as a master of color and the museum’s longstanding commitment to his work.
Just above East Sixth Street and across from the Contemporary Arts Center, the intersecting chromatic lines of Julian Stanczak’s Additional (2007) are an iconic part of Fountain Square’s public artwork, even if it’s easy to assume the work is just an architect’s creative flair. So what is Additional, and who is the artist behind it? Stanczak was a Polish-born painter and printmaker who was one of the progenitors of Op-Art, a movement of the 1960’s focused on using light and color to create complex visual experiences that engage the eye. Stanczak has a direct connection to Ohio—he worked as painting faculty at both the University of Cincinnati and later the Cleveland Art Institute and lived in the state for 60 years, from 1957 until his death in 2017. The majority of Stanczak’s works were based on painting and printmaking, with this work being the only known sculpture/installation work done by him. His only other public work was done by painting directly onto a brick building and, as a result of issues with contractors, did not last particularly long before changes in weather caused it to dilapidate.
Ten years ago it seemed Cork Street might lose its gallery-driven identity and become just another shopping street. Now it’s on the up, with Goodman Gallery and Frieze moving in recently, and Stephen Friedman and Alison Jacques to follow. Tracking back, The Mayor Gallery was actually the first to open on the street, when founded by Fred Mayor (1903-73) in 1925. This century it has concentrated on the ZERO and Concrete movements and other artists in tune with them: I recall particularly good shows by Raimund Girke, Tadaaki Kuwayama, Peter Dreher and François Morellet, for example. And in these days of death-by-QR-code, it’s good to report that The Mayor Gallery provides substantial well-illustrated catalogue booklets with worthwhile writing on the shows. Up now is Julian Stanczak (1928-2017), a Polish American for whose work the term Op Art was first coined. It’s evident that Stanczak sits alongside Vasarely and Riley in finding contrasting yet related ways to make the viewer’s perceptual experience the primary subject.
Based between Poland and France, Artur Trawinski harbors a strong attachment to Eastern European art, particularly Abstract Expressionism of the 1960s and its Polish practitioners, both emerging and established. With nearly 400 works in his collection, Trawinski currently sits on the International Circle acquisition committee at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. We caught up with him to learn more about his transeuropean collecting journey. "Some of my recent purchases are young artists from Eastern Europe, especially young geometric artists. An artist I recently purchased from Jecza Gallery—a young and dynamic gallery in Romania—is Vladiana Ghiulvessi. She is strongly following in the footsteps of Henryk Stażewski, Victor Vasarely, Julian Stanczak, Imre Bak, and Julije Knifer—artists I’ve been collecting for many years. All the artworks from my collection rotate regularly, but above the sofa is a place for favorites, such as the one I have hanging there right now, which is a Victor Vasarely, and just before that, a work by Julian Stanczak."
Art museums do not collect beautiful things. Perhaps I should rephrase that sentence. Art museums do not collect art for its beauty alone. It takes something extra for a painting to find its way onto the walls of any museum, whether it be the Canton Museum of Art or the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. And, that something extra … art’s vigorish … is what makes art museums one of the greatest ways to spend a leisurely afternoon. Museums make you think. A museum’s vig may be tied to history, innovation, medium or mission. It depends on what it decides to collect. The Canton Museum of Art focuses on American works on paper and ceramics. Its outstanding collection of such art is worth over $35 million. The Toledo Museum, with a far larger endowment, collects the very best works from a select group of A-list artists. The Cleveland Museum of Art, with an even bigger endowment, has assembled one of the world’s widest ranging collections "for the benefit of all the people forever.” They put their money where their mouth is with free attendance for everyone.
Julian Stanczak's exhibition "The Light Inside" at Diane Rosenstein Gallery in Los Angeles featured in Artforum's 'must see' guide. Opening of our fourth solo exhibition of paintings by Polish-American artist Julian Stanczak. The Light Inside explores Stanczak's intuitive use of color and geometric abstraction to create a sense of radiant light.
Julian Stanczak: The Light Inside at Diane Rosenstein Gallery. Exploring the artist’s intuitive use of color and geometric abstraction to create a sense of radiant light, this historic series of paintings resonates with the themes of the California Light And Space movement. According to the late artist, his minimal compositions are emotional landscapes that express his desire to transcend the surface containment of the painting as object and connect with the viewer through perception.
You may think that experiences such as forced labor in Siberia, losing the nerves in his dominant arm, or ending up in a refugee camp would have broken him. However, they didn’t; on the contrary, he transformed these extreme and abstract life experiences into a completely innovative painting style: Op Art. Meet Julian Stanczak, an abstract painter who fell into oblivion but will be rediscovered. Even though Julian Stańczak is considered an icon and one of the founding fathers of Op Art, he is known to the very few. Despite the fact that his works have been exhibited for over 60 years and over 70 museums own his pieces, he has never gained vast public recognition. Hence, next time you’re in Cleveland Institute of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Miami University Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, or Museum of Modern Art, pay his art a visit.
In the gallery’s third exhibition on the late Op Art innovator Julian Stanczak, Mitchell-Innes and Nash has honed in on 10 large-scale, multi-panel paintings that capture the artist’s proclivity for working in series. A rare approach among other standard-bearers of the movement, seriality reflects how Stanczak’s entrancing abstractions were grounded in observation of natural phenomena, such as the way light gradates from dawn to dusk or autumn shifts to spring. This connection takes the show’s sensual pleasures beyond the realm of good vibes and grounds them in something more knowable, tangible, and memorable.
My last stop was “Julian Stanczak: The Eighties,” at Diane Rosenstein Gallery. Stanczak, who died in 2017, was an early practitioner of Op Art, a movement that originated in the 1960s, emphasizing the optical effects of an artwork and the mechanics of perception. The 15 works on view all date from the 1980s and reflect Stanczak’s utter dedication to the style. They consist of nothing but stripes and discreet, mostly rectilinear blocks of color, but are so masterfully planned and constructed that they generate luminous fields of light and color that seem to glow and hover off the gallery walls. Rather than attempting to blend various hues together, he carefully orchestrated adjacent but discreet blocks of color to create subtle transitions. His paintings happen, not on the canvas but inside our heads, as our brains turn myriad tiny areas of flat color into luminous clouds of light. In some ways, Stanczak’s painting process was proto-algorithmic, creating an overall effect through the consistent, application of an evolving set of rules. They are masterworks of control that end up being strangely numinous.
Then, compare and contrast Agnes Martin’s use of contrasting color values with the work of the painter Julian Stanczak, known for his Op Art style that also boldly plays with the eye. Op Art is a type of visual art that creates optical illusions.
FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art announces the opening of Press and Professional accreditation and the Triennial's initial group of project highlights, which includes FRONT commissions and exhibitions that will activate unique and unconventional spaces throughout the city of Cleveland. These projects spotlight particular sites, buildings and locations in Cleveland that carry social, cultural or political significance in its history and current reality. In these unique spaces, FRONT artists will unveil a range of projects including site-specific works that engage the city’s rich identity, while allowing a broader contemplation of people and place to both residents and visitors.
The painter Julian Stanczak died earlier this year in his hometown of Cleveland Ohio, at the age of 88. Prior to his death, Mitchell-Innes and Nash in New York had been planning what would have been the second solo exhibition at the gallery of his work. That exhibition opened on 18 May, less than two months after Stanczak passed, and it has became more than just another show. It is a celebration of the work and the life of a truly beloved and influential artist.
I wanted Trespassing Light to appear effortless. I wanted to "hear" the red shout, and I am satisfied with the outcome.
Living together for almost fifty-five years, Julian and I—and later our children, too—experienced many memorable adventures; we crossed the country by car from one national park to the next, from one unique experience to another. As I took in nature’s formations and found myself enthralled by America’s geology, Julian was registering everything within his mind’s eye.
Mr. Stanczak’s art evinced a tremendous geometric inventiveness. He constantly elaborated on the possibilities of parallel stripes, both straight and undulant; squares, both checkerboard and concentric; and grids, usually amplified by contrasting saturated colors.
Now change has provocatively shaken up the Modern’s relatively undisturbed sanctum sanctorum: the grand permanent collection galleries, on the fourth and fifth floors, which are typically devoted to the Modern’s unparalleled holdings in the painting-and-sculpture department.
The installation of these galleries has long been the closely guarded aegis of one or two top curators in the department. Now the fourth floor — devoted to works from 1940 to 1980 — has been reinstalled by a collective of 15 curators from across the museum. Another departure: MoMA’s movement-by-movement, Eurocentric vision of Modernism has been replaced with a wide-angle focus on a single decade. “From the Collection: 1960-1969,” a yearlong presentation, zeros in on the overfetishized 1960s, when art and politics were in turmoil and interacted with a new force, and tells its story with work by more than 200 artists from around 20 countries.
The leveling determination is more convincing when the curators select as a representative for the unmentioned Op Art movement not Bridget Riley but the overlooked innovator Julian Stanczak and his “This Duel” (1963), his jazzy star turn in undulating black and white lines. Instead of including Frank Stella as the avatar of Minimalist painting, the honor goes to Agnes Martin and Jo Baer.
Since the early years of the 20th century, artists have routinely flaunted the boundary separating art from technology-from the "engineer's esthetic" embraced by Le Corbusier to Andy Warhol's famous blague, "I want to be a machine."