Ed Mieczkowski

(1929 - 2017, Newport Beach, California)

North America, American

Edwin Mieczkowski is best known as a proponent of op art (short for optical art), a term coined in a 1964 Time magazine article that featured Mieckowski’s work along with fellow Cleveland Institute of Art graduates Julian Stanczak and Richard Anuszkiewicz. The artists shared an interest in exploring perception through paintings featuring rhythmic geometric forms that seem to vibrate and shift as the viewer stands before them. In 1965 Mieczkowski was included in a landmark Museum of Modern Art exhibition, The Responsive Eye.

Mieczkowksi received his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1957 and his MFA from Carnegie Mellon in 1959. Returning to CIA to teach, Mieczkowski helped to form the Anonima Group in 1960, a group of artists who eschewed gallery representation and art market success. Mieczkowski exhibited nationally following MoMA’s show, and as a first-generation Polish American, was particularly honored to exhibit his work in 1966 at the famous Galeria Foksal in Warsaw, Poland. While New York art world interest in op art waned in the 1970s, Mieczkowski continued to work in geometric and perceptual abstraction in both painting and sculpture. Now retired, Mieczkowski taught for many years at the Pratt Institute and Cooper Union in New York City in addition to teaching at CIA. He was awarded the Cleveland Arts Prize in both 1966 and 1996. Mieczkowski’s work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lodz, Poland; the Tel Aviv Museum of Modern Art in Israel; and the Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; among others.

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