Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Begley, John P.


Optical art--Kentucky--Louisville--Exhibitions; Vision--Physiological aspects


This thesis and exhibition examine the connection between neurobiology and Op Art. Neurobiological explanations of Op Art's effects are explored as a means to offer insight into the processes of the human mind and eye, and to provide explanations for the optical phenomena that were of interest to the Op artists. The initial chapter provides an overview of Op Art that is intended to offer the viewer a context for understanding the works. It also includes an explanation of the works included in the exhibition. The exhibition showcases examples of Op Art from the University of Louisville's collections as well as work borrowed from local collectors and artists. Visual impairments are also discussed as a means to provide the reader with further information on individual perception, which was the primary focus of Op artists. The thesis concludes with a summary of why an investigation into the neurobiological activity and an individual perception is significant for Op Art. The neurobiology of our brain determines our perceptions which vary from person to person. Illusions in Op Art, when perceived by an individual, provide powerful bodily sensations that lead to the inquiry of how we perceive the world around us. These reactions are what the Op artists explored in their work as a means to raise the viewer's consciousness about perception and reality.