Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tadesky/Four Optic Visionaries, New York Times Review, October 10, 2008
319 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Through Oct. 19
FOUR OPTIC VISIONARIES
D. Wigmore Fine Art
730 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
Through Nov. 15
The eye-opening mini-retrospective at Sideshow is Tadasky’s first New York solo since 1969. What makes that stretch between shows especially remarkable is that he started out with such a bang. In 1964, three years after Tadasky came to the United States from Japan, the Museum of Modern Art purchased two of his circular Op Art paintings, and he was included in MoMA’s famous 1965 exhibition of perceptual abstraction “The Responsive Eye” with Frank Stella, Larry Poons, Bridget Riley and others.
Tadasky, who was born in 1935 and whose full name is Tadasuke Kuwayama, has not lacked for attention lately as Op Art has been resurrected by contemporary-art curators as an object of serious interest. He was included in “Extreme Abstraction” at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in 2005 and “Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s” at the Columbus Museum of Art in 2007.
Tadasky’s paintings from the 1960s look terrific. There are eight at Sideshow, and D. Wigmore’s group show has nine more, along with works from the ’60s by three other artists who were in “The Responsive Eye”: Richard Anuszkiewicz, Sue Fuller and Mon Levinson.
Using Japanese brushes and a simple rotating device, Tadasky created targetlike compositions of concentric rings on square canvases. Varying colors and the width of the rings, he produced uncanny, fluctuating effects of light, color and three-dimensionality. The paintings are hypnotic, and they have a Pop Art-like graphic punch.
Tadasky has continued to produce circular compositions in recent years, but he has veered away from Op Art. Paintings from 2008 at Sideshow are spacy and mystical, but they don’t compete with his captivating works from the ’60s. KEN JOHNSON
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