Op art with Victor Vasarely (LS-HR-112)

Do your own op art

One of the tasks of art education is to introduce the world of art to children. Through the immediate creative work of children and observing pieces of art, we can realize the educational value of visual arts. For instance, you can do your own op art with your students.

Starting at a young age

From the 1st grade, I started presenting the creativity of artists to my pupils through the story of their lives, observing their works and featuring video clips about them. Now they are 4th grade. I prepared some links for them, as well as books and other materials. But they have also done research on artists themselves. I found that since 1st grade, students became more interested in art and artists’ lives. But their work has improved as well.

Optical tricks

I made use of optical art or “op art”, and the works of Victor Vasarely, a French/Hungarian artist, known as the pioneer of the op art movement.
These artworks are abstract, but give a feeling of movement, and seem to have hidden images and patterns that might swell or warp. Black and white patterns are typical. Although our focus was Vasarely, one can also choose other artists of similar movements, such as M. C. Escher, also a well-known op artist.

The creative work of pupils

Europeana is a valuable resource to commit students to study these topics. It gives us access to artists’ paintings and provides some facts about their lives. You can also find examples from the work of Victor Vasarely there. When students did their research about Victor Vasarely, they had to prepare a short report about their research.

Finally, after finishing their report, they had to paint like Victor Vasarely, using a felt pen. It was a really interesting activity because it is not easy to make Op Art. Nevertheless, all the students put a lot of effort into their work and their paintings were very interesting. They had much fun exploring the colour combinations. They did beautiful artwork. You can find some examples of their work in the learning scenario document.

After finishing their work, they presented it to the rest of the class and receive comments. They enjoyed the whole activity very much and were more eager to meet new artists in the end.

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

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The original featured image used to illustrate this article belongs to the public domain.

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