Richard Anuszkiewicz

International Award “Lorenzo il Magnifico” for Lifetime Achievement 2005

In 2005 the V edition of the Florence Biennale welcomed a special guest of honour, Richard Anuszkiewicz, one of the fathers of Optical Art and the recipient of the Award “Lorenzo il Magnifico” for Lifetime Achievement.

Over the course of the conference that he gave, the artist had the opportunity to revisit the most important steps of his career. He did so with the aid of videos and images that illustrated the techniques that he had used to create the works of art that were exhibited at the Fortezza da Basso.

An incredibly talented painter and sculptor, Richard Anuszkiewicz played an essential role in launching Op Art. Optical Art got its start as an abstract art movement in the 1960s, and one of its principal aims was to juxtapose colours and lines in order to

create optical illusions that created a sense of movement and induced the viewer to doubt his or her perceptions. This movement has been recognized as being part of the much larger movement of kinetic art, largely because of its inborn inclination to set up a real relation between the viewer and the artwork.

After his first experiments, the artist began to explore the visual psychology tied to the intensity of colours and to repetitive geometric patterns. His paintings and sculptures have won numerous prizes and have been exhibited in some of the world’s most important museums. His works are part of the permanent collections of the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington D.C., and the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.