©Júlio Le Parc / ADAGP, Paris / SPA, Lisboa, 2023
©Júlio Le Parc / ADAGP, Paris / SPA, Lisboa, 2023
4 July -> 30 September 2023

Exhibition from the Tate Collection

The Dynamic Eye, Beyond Optical and Kinetic Art

Over 100 works | Over 63 artists | More than 21 countries

Enjoy the exhibition through the Atkinson Museum multi-lingual audio guide.
App available to download at the museum.


Tate’s vision is to serve as artistically adventurous and culturally inclusive art museums for the UK and the World.

Tate delivers this through activities in its four galleries across the UK (Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives, Tate Britain and Tate Modern), its digital platforms and collaborations with its national and international partners.

At the heart of Tate is its collection of art, which includes British art from the 16th century to the present day, and international modern art from 1900 to the present day.

“Tate is delighted to be working with WOW Cultural District to stage The Dynamic Eye at the Atkinson Museum. WOW’s ambition to create a unique, cultural destination in Porto is a bold and welcome endeavour. The combination of art, culinary delights and a well curated selection of retail and hospitality, is an important addition to the Portuguese cultural scene. As a new ‘cultural district’ in Porto, WOW encompasses a variety of innovative spaces for local and global audiences. Visitors from established art enthusiasts to families, can relax, be inspired, and immerse themselves in culture, with world-class art, food and drink. WOW is leading the way in Porto, creating a new model of cultural engagement for all. Tate is very pleased to contribute to this mission through our collaboration.”

Neil McConnon, Director of International Partnerships, Tate

The Exhibition

During the 1950s and 1960s, many artists started to bring ideas from mathematics, scientific research and colour theory into their work, and some began using computers to create images.

These artists saw the viewer not as passive spectator but as active participant, engaging with art in real time and space. Their works often trigger complex visual sensations, activated by the viewer’s perception of shape, colour and pattern. Sometimes this effect is intensified by the inclusion of kinetic parts that create real or perceived movement.

© Kenneth Noland / ADAGP, Paris / SPA, Lisboa, 2023
© Kenneth Noland / ADAGP, Paris / SPA, Lisboa, 2023
© Walter Leblanc / SABAM, Brussels / SPA, Lisboa, 2023 © Victor Vasarely /ADAGP, Paris /SPA, Lisboa, 2023
© Walter Leblanc / SABAM, Brussels / SPA, Lisboa, 2023
© Victor Vasarely /ADAGP, Paris /SPA, Lisboa, 2023
© Herbert Bayer / ADAGP, Paris / SPA, Lisboa, 2023 © Piero Dorazio / ADAGP, Paris / SPA, Lisboa, 2023
© Herbert Bayer / ADAGP, Paris / SPA, Lisboa, 2023
© Piero Dorazio / ADAGP, Paris / SPA, Lisboa, 2023

Optical art emerged during this period. Artists combined simple lines, geometric shapes, and eye-popping colour to create optical effects and illusions. Kinetic Art was closely associated with Op Art, encompassing art utilising motors, moving elements and sources of energy to challenge art as a static form.

This exhibition revisits Optical and Kinetic Art from a global perspective. It weaves together artists like Victor Vasarely, Jesús Rafael Soto, Alexander Calder and Frank Stella, closely associated with these movements as well as their predecessors and contemporary practitioners.

© 2023 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SPA, Lisboa, 2023
Frank Stella
Hyena Stomp
Photography; Tate
© 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SPA, Lisboa, 2023
Alexander Calder
Antennae with Red and Blue Dots
Photography; Tate
Lygia Clark (1920-1988)
Creature-Maquette (320)
Photography; Tate

Julio Le Parc

Julio Le Parc is an Argentine artist known for his contributions to the Op Art movement. He was born in 1928 in Mendoza, Argentina and began his career as a painter in the 1950s. In the 1960s, he became a member of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visual, an organization that sought to use technology and scientific principles to create new forms of art.

Le Parc’s major achievements include his participation in numerous international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale and the Bienal de São Paulo. The exhibition includes artworks such as “Continual Mobile, Continual Light” and “Virtual Forms in Various Situations.” These works use light, mirrors and movement to create optical illusions and engage the viewer in a participatory experience.

Le Parc’s work has had a significant impact on the development of Op Art and he continues to be recognized as an important figure in the art world. In addition to his artistic pursuits, Le Parc has also been involved in social and political activism throughout his career.

©Júlio Le Parc / ADAGP, Paris / SPA, Lisboa, 2023
©Júlio Le Parc / ADAGP, Paris / SPA, Lisboa, 2023

Victor Vasarely

Victor Vasarely, a renowned Hungarian-born artist and the “grandfather of Op Art,” is celebrated for his exceptional use of geometric patterns and optical illusions in his works.

One of his most famous works, “Supernovae,” features pulsating black and white geometric shapes, and showcases Vasarely’s ability to manipulate our perception through the use of contrasting hues.

Another notable example of Vasarely’s artistic prowess is his series “Banya,” which comprises abstract compositions with complex arrangements of geometric shapes and lines.

The incorporation of tessellation, a technique in which a single shape is repeated to create a larger, cohesive pattern, imbues “Banya” with a sense of harmony and order.
In addition to his artistic endeavours, Vasarely’s designs have been utilized in various commercial contexts. For instance, his iconic logo for Renault, featuring a stylized diamond shape, has become synonymous with the French automaker and continues to be used on their vehicles to this day.

© Victor Vasarely /ADAGP, Paris /SPA, Lisboa, 2023
© Victor Vasarely /ADAGP, Paris /SPA, Lisboa, 2023
Photography; Tate
© Victor Vasarely /ADAGP, Paris /SPA, Lisboa, 2023
Victor Vasarely
Photography; Tate
Chromatic Intersection, 1970 © Herbert Bayer / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / SPA, Lisboa, 2023
Herbert Bayer
Chromatic Intersection
Photography; Tate

Jesús Rafael Soto

Jesús Rafael Soto (June 5, 1923 – January 17, 2005) was a Venezuelan op and kinetic artist, a sculptor and a painter.

Soto would set the bases for an art that transcended the conventional parameters of painting and sculpture. By inviting the spectator to participate in the work, instead of merely looking from a distance, Soto more deeply engages the audience, and makes the experience more intriguing and stimulating.

Like many other Venezuelan artists from this time, Jesús Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez considered their works a response to what they felt the problems were in art of their time.

They wanted to express a more universal process of art. Because of this, their works are contributions that continue to enrich the art world. Their willingness to contribute and put themselves in a more universal approach to art, was a direct rebuttal to the traditional views of art in Latin America. With Venezuela, this was a way for them to add what they felt was missing in the art of Latin America.

Jesús Rafael Soto
Twelve Blacks and Four Silvers
12 noirs et 4 argentés
Photography; Tate
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