Art as Visual Research: Kinetic Illusions in Op Art [Preview]

Art and neuroscience combine to create fascinating examples of illusory motion

Eye movements, both large and small, can trigger most of the motion illusions in this article. Blaze, a 1964 screen print by English op artist Bridget Riley (left), gives the impression of fast spiraling motion as observers move their eyes around the image. Fall (right), painted by Riley in 1963, has curved lines that create illusory undulations and volume. Both works are in the Tate gallery in London. The 1965 MOMA exhibition “The Responsive Eye” drew worldwide attention to Riley's op art.

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