Op Art

When I walked into David Richard Gallery (www.davidrichardgallery.com/) in Santa Fe’s Railyard I got hit with a wave of euphoria—or more accurately waves. Color, pattern, optical illusion, and just plain raw beauty make up the show “Re-Op: “The Responsive Eye” Fifty Years After Visual Perception Today.
It doesn’t hurt that I’ve known the curator Peter Frank since I was twelve or thirteen years old, where he was a counselor at a unique summer camp—SAAC—where activities were intellectual and creative. There, my husband Rich was self described as “part of Peter’s entourage.”
I’ve written in this blog about people I learned from without realizing it—haiku poet Elizabeth Lamb, Beat writer Phil Whalen. But I always knew I was learning from Peter Frank, mostly about contemporary art but also about unabashed enthusiasm. I learned about Kenneth Koch from him, and Peter was the first publisher of my poems. Rich and I would accompany Peter schmying around New York looking at art. As luck and life would have it, this habit has continued for many years in Santa Fe when Peter is in town.
Saturday’s panel discussion (with David Eicholtz, Peter Frank, and artists Matthew Kluber, Tom Martinelli, and Jack Slentz) was edifying in terms of the relationship between Op and Pop Art, between the surface of a piece and the viewer, and between how we see and what we see. It was also an opportunity to sit for a long time in a room of eye dazzlers, occasionally taking just another look.

Christian Haub

Beverly Fishman

Tom Martinelli

2 thoughts on “Op Art

  1. Oh, wow, that’s so cool! I hadn’t thought of Peter Frank in years (okay, decades), but just seeing his name, and your notes, brought back an instant memory of dump of seeing not only his (50-year-ago) face (and hair, of course) but even his (very distinctive) voice!

    On a bus from Oxford to Heathrow . . . will try and figure out my coming-up ABQ schedule soon and get back to you!



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