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Ludwig Wilding

The Op and Kinetic spatial works of Ludwig Wilding (1927 - 2010) aim to disorient viewers by tricking the focus of their eyes.

Wilding was always interested in the examination of visual perception of space, and more particularly in stereoscopy, which creates the illusion of depth in a single picture. Inspired by the Modernists as well as the work of M. C. Escher, he invented a special technology using the superimposition of interference in order to create three-dimensional optical illusions, utilising a wide variety of phenomena, including spatial illusions, anamorphoses, perspective paradoxes, fractals, and moving moiré patterns.

His works question the perceptual habits of the viewer and the interaction between the eye and the brain. Depending on the angle of view, the moiré patterns shift and flicker confusing the eye, while the grids seemingly turn into familiar objects such as kaleidoscopes, spinning wheels, and city towers. Wilding liked to use the term “irritating art” not only because in his work he investigated the limits of visual perception but also because viewers would often rub their eyes in disbelief as the patterns would physically irritate the eye.

Wilding’s recent shows include retrospectives at the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; Schirn Kunsthalle Gallery, Germany; Museum of Concrete Art, Germany.