Julian Stanczak is known by many as the pioneer of Optical Art, as he combines feats of geometric abstraction with amazing color performance, achieved by few others of the genre. And in this tremendous story of an artist is the story of another, his wife Barbara Stanczak, whose journey with sculpture travels to the far reaches of the natural world. This retrospective of Julian and Barbara Stanczak encompasses the life and work of two artists in visual conversation with one another.
Julian Stanczak (1928-2017) was a Polish-born American painter best known for his contribution to the Op Art movement. His works are in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
"Color can not be measured so easily. Its energies are diffused in memory. We know color through our reaction to it. It becomes an experience.
I constantly struggle for clarity and the intricate balance between container and what it contains. Since my biggest joy is to deal with color, the shape embracing the color is scrupulously chosen in order that it not prevail over the color situation but assist it. That is why I use mostly geometric shapes which one accepts without questioning particularities, thus giving the color full responsibility for visual plasticity."
Barbara Stanczak (b. 1941) is a German-born American artist based in Ohio. Her work in stone and wood honor the wonders of the Earth. She has said that nature shows us a type of growth that is organic, internally programmed, irreversible—a linear progression in the development of structure and a miraculous unfolding.
"As a sculptor I have to submerge myself into that time and organic evolution without abandoning my own layers of accumulated learning and experience. I have to become the stone, the tree."
October 3: Curator's Tour, 12:15pm
Chief Curator and CEO Charles Shepard will lead you on an engaging and lively gallery tour of this exhibition. Tours are free with museum admission.