Op-Art master Julian Stanczak designed an amazing and dizzying plan for the aesthetic bettering of an ordinary parking garage

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 12/08/2010 - 04:00.

Julian Stanczak Fifth Third mural in Cincinnati, Ohio 2008

I never miss a chance to see the work of - and celebrate - Cleveland-based artist Julian Stanczak... a father of Op Art and one of the great artists of all time. So, during a tour of downtown Cincinnati (VERY NICE) last week, I was thrilled to unexpectedly be walked right past Stanczak's landmark 2008 work "Additional", on the Fifth Third bank and parking complex at Fountain Square. My host in Cincinnati seemed pleasantly surprised I was familiar with a work of public art in his Queen City, as I proudly exclaimed "Wow, there's the Stanczak mural... he's from Cleveland" and ran off to take pictures to share with realNEO.

If the art-superstar status of Julian Stanczak was ever to be challenged - for his life-work or his late-career accomplishments, as he remains productive in his 80s - Julian's most recent and important mural-scale public art masterpiece enforces his position at the top of the "art world" forever.

"Additional" covers nearly the entire facade of a 6-story, block-long parking garage with a sculptural op installation that must be the largest and is certainly the greatest work of its kind on Earth. Having had the good fortune to see this masterpiece in person I can say it is even more successful in life than in concept, print and video - it is stunning and transforms a dismal structure, and the dismal surroundings that created, into a celebration of light, energy and color - completely re-energizing a major neighborhood core to this community.

Since the completion of "Additional", a Tiffany & Company story has opened across the street from Fountain Square, in addition to many other important new anchors to this transformed little neighborhood with very BIG OP APPEAL.

Quite significant additions for Cincinnati... or any great city on Earth.

realNEO Header Julian Stanczak 2008 Additional Public Art Cincinnati Ohio

About "Additional" in City Beat, during installation, in 2008:

Polish born, Cleveland-based artist and Op-Art master Julian Stanczak has designed an amazing and dizzying plan for the aesthetic bettering of an ordinary cement parking garage: a series of 356 vertical aluminum tubes, in varying colors, with an additional 200 tubes also in various colors set at diagonals. In the end, the effect will be an Op-Art mural that runs the entire city block from Walnut to Vine streets. The precise arrangement of the tubes causes optical illusions for passers-by, as the colors shift and change according to your position on the street, whether walking or driving past or entering the Contemporary Arts Center across the street.

In 2008, The Best of Cincinnati Site voted Stanczak's work part of the "Best Shot of Local Color for Downtown"...

...even more mesmerizing is the eye-catching redo of the building’s Sixth Street facade, once the bland wall of a parking garage. With counsel from Cincinnati architectural firm FRCH, the bank engaged internationally known artist (and one-time local resident) Julian Stanczak for a block-long piece of public op-art made of multi-colored tubes that seem to undulate as you pass by. The Walnut Street corner has a big-finned Caddy above the entrance to Cadillac Ranch. How cool is it that the once-bland view across from the CAC (Contemporary Art Center) is now one of downtown’s most colorful blocks?

The Queen City Tour Site writes, about "Additional":

Across Sixth Street from the Contemporary Arts Center, this work of art from Stanczak serves not only as a living work of art in the streets of Cincinnati but also as a parking garage façade. Fifth Third Bank commissioned Julian Stanczak to create this façade for their parking garage which debuted in 2007. The work is a total of 522 aluminum bars painted different colors and while you walk down the street, the tubes will change colors giving a nice visual experience.

Detail of Additional public art mural by Julian Stanczak on Fifth Third Bank Cincinnati Ohio

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Stanczak's work constantly amazes me and I am so grateful that you posted this today.  I needed
uplifting art. 

  Stanczak is pure GENIUS.

I've had the good fortune to live a Stanczak-filled life

realNEO header from Julian Stanczak show at Cleveland Contemporary Art Center 2008

I've had the good fortune to live a Stanczak-filled life - they've been friends of the family since before I was born and I grew up enjoying a huge early Stanczak painting in my parents' living room (perhaps an area museum may get that) among many Stanczak's in my parents and my collection, since I could see - and have enjoyed their company and wisdom since I could think - and even got to study design at CIA with Barbara, who is one of my favorite artists in the world, as well... thank her for some of the cool look of realNEO.

Be sure to visit this link on - Cleveland-based artist Julian Stanczak

Here are some links to other postings on REALNEO featuring Julian AND Barbara Stanczak:

Julian's work was featured on REALNEO here - http://realneo.us/stanczak-op-art-exhibit-a-rare-treat-for-cleveland

Barbara's show at the Botanical gardens is featured extensively here - http://realneo.us/Stanczak-Schutz-and-Opie-openings

Barbara's work in the 2006 CIA Faculty Show is featured extensively here - http://realneo.us/2006-CIA-Faculty-Show

And, in the 2007 Faculty Show - http://realneo.us/2007-Cleveland-Institute-of-Art-Faculty-Show

Also, note, Julian's current exhibition is doing well in a poll about things to do in Northeast Ohio - you should vote and encourage others to do so.... http://realneo.us/polls/best-reason-visit-neo-fall-2009

They are each still active creating art - Cleveland+ should commission each of their greatest works for here.

And Clevelanders who buy art should buy local art... and absolutely buy Stanczak.

Julian's art, in particular, shall hold and increase in global value, and each shall add greatness to your life experience and collection.

Disrupt IT



Imagine the Flats done with Op, instead of the same old crap.

They should do something like this, by Stanczak, on Euclid Ave as part of the new University Circle developments... or even something bigger - I haven't seen any plans for new buildings anywhere in the world that look nearly as cool or have near the impact of this... they may build a very cheap but high energy sub-building screened by the Op Art, and the building inside still gets free open ventilation, if they want, and shade from direct sun to reduce heating - ingenious, cost effective design that truly improves the harmonics and energy of a place.

All with around 500 painted aluminum tubes, and the genius of Stanczak.

Imagine a corridor lined with something like this on each side for several blocks... Op imprints and influences, with Bauhaus sensibilities and real green design throughout, for many blocks - now you have the visual and conceptual makings of a truly inspiring, sticky world class tech corridor with authentic world-class design and art excellence, for world-class everything!

And cheaper than doing things the old ways... far cheaper in every way...

Imagine the Flats done with Op, instead of the same old crap.

Disrupt IT

Imagine a casino district done with Op

Imagine a casino district done by Stanczak with Op...

I'm sure Julain could come up with something amazing with lasars and lights too - something like this would make a casino here unique and worth visiting - I'd even go check that out

Disrupt IT

Just got back Warhol Museum in PITT -CLE recognize Stanczaks!

Julian and Barbara Stanczak

Color and Form

november 6 - january 2