“The Dynamic Eye: Beyond Optical and Kinetic Art” opens the doors of the Atkinson Museum on 4th July

 Monday, July 3, 2023

“The Dynamic Eye: Beyond Optical and Kinetic Art”, from the Tate Collection, opens on 4th July and is the first exhibition ever to be presented at the Atkinson Museum, located next to WOW, within the Cultural District, in Vila Nova de Gaia. With nearly 100 rarely exhibited works from the Tate Collection, the exhibition revisits the rise of Optical and Kinetic art – two parallel art movements that took force during the 1950s and 1960s – from a global perspective.

Victor Vasarely, Julio le Parc, Lygia Clark, Liliane Lijn, Frank Stella and Jesús Rafael Soto are some of the names represented in an exhibition that brings together artists from across 21 countries. Artists associated with these movements combined simple lines, geometric shapes and vibrant colours to create optical effects or illusions and their pieces trigger complex and disruptive visual sensations activated by the viewer, stimulating a real or perceived movement. Rather than following a strict chronology, this exhibition reframes Op and Kinetic Art as tendencies embraced by artists throughout different times, geographies and cultural contexts.

Among the works included are recent acquisitions to the Tate Collection, such as Light Room (Jena) by Otto Piene, an evocative and sensory piece that literally immerses the spectator in a game of light and shadow, and Cybernetic Sculpture: Square Tops by Wen-Ying Tsai , one of the pioneers of cybernetic and kinetic art. The exhibition will also feature a work by renowned contemporary artist Jim Lambie, whose psychedelic floor installation will occupy the entrance to the Atkinson Museum.

After being exhibited at Museum of Art Pudong (MAP) in Shanghai from September 2022, the exhibition “The Dynamic Eye: Beyond Optical and Kinetic Art”, curated by Valentina Ravaglia, Curator, Displays & International Art at Tate , arrives in Vila Nova de Gaia, where it will remain on display until 30th September.

“It is incredibly exciting to bring such a large and visually striking selection of works from Tate’s Collection to Porto for the first time. I can’t wait for people to experience The Dynamic Eye at Atkinson Museum: the exhibition is a treat for the eyes, and it includes many works that are true hidden gems. For instance, many of the motorised kinetic works are rarely set in motion, and it is always especially thrilling to ‘plug them in’ again and see them animate a new venue.” Valentina Ravaglia, Curator, Displays & International Art, Tate.

“It is an honour for the Cultural District of Vila Nova de Gaia, to receive an exhibition with this depth and dimension, coming directly from Shanghai, and housing more than a hundred remarkable works from the Optical and Kinetic art movements. It will be a unique opportunity to discover the work of over 60 artists from different geographies and get to know the new Atkinson Museum, an address that will put Portugal on the international art map.” Adrian Bridge, CEO of Fladgate Partnership, the group responsible for the Cultural District.

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