Pictures by so-called “Op” artists – like Bridget Riley’s “Fission”, from 1963 – have a bad rap for being nothing more than light-and-lively fun. But the best examples of Op Art in the New Museum show called “Ghosts in the Machine” are genuinely disorienting. Their optical buzz makes it so hard to read what’s what on the surface of the painting that you start to doubt what’s what, and where, in the universe you’re in. They stand for a more profound, existential disorientation that any human can feel.
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