Rotational Circles 1960–4

Looking at mathematical methods of art making

Exploring the boundaries of rationality and playfulness

Mid-century atrist Michael James Kidner RA (1917-2009) was a pioneer of Op art. After brushes with American Abstract Expressionism and Bauhaus ideas he began to develop his own distinctive style. His interests in mathematics, science and the theories of chaos have informed his artwork.

Pictured above is his attempt to create abstract optical illusions by repeating the same circular shape sixty-three times using the same three colours.

Many other of his works are grouped in geometric series – the stripe, the wave, the lattice – and with each, Kidner applied a patterned rationale to the way he painted
'Blue, Green and White Wave' 1964
"I hoped that two waves which were out of phase would suggest the beginning and the end of a cycle"
Michael Kidner
'Wavy Stripe: Green, Blue, Orange, Red' 1966