Artist Julian Stanczak’s new exhibit to open at Kelvin Smith Library Dec. 4

"Superimposed in Light," 1973
“Superimposed in Light,” 1973

The work of Julian Stanczak, world-renowned painter and pioneer in Optical Art, is being featured in a series of four exhibitions at Kelvin Smith Library. The second exhibit, “Through the Looking-glass,” will be on display Dec. 4 through Jan. 31 in the library’s newly renovated art gallery. The opening reception for the exhibit will be held Thursday, Dec. 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. An RSVP is encouraged.

The series at Kelvin Smith Library is a retrospective of Stanczak’s work, moving in chronological order of the art’s creation. The second installment will feature a highly original and technically challenging group of Stanczak’s prints on metal from the 1970s in which he explores how the mind interprets what it sees. Inspired in part by the work of his teacher at Yale University, Josef Albers, the prints present austere linear forms, which initially seem simple, but can be interpreted in multiple ways. Not only do these lines evoke a series of different possible figures in space, but also the materials that form them are ambiguous as well.

Stanczak’s work has been exhibited extensively around the world and is represented in more than 85 museums and 100 public collections. Also a distinguished educator, Stanczak began his 38-year teaching career in 1957 at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati. In 1964, he became a professor of painting at Cleveland Institute of Art, a position he held until his retirement in 1995.

The dates and titles of upcoming exhibits are:

  • “Through the Looking-glass”: Dec. 4-Jan. 31, 2014
  • “Substance and Illusion”: Feb. 4-March 28
  • “Pushing the Envelope: New Dimensions of Color”: April 3-June 6
The exhibits are free and open to the public with valid photo ID during the library’s regular business hours. Learn more at