Julian Stanczak (1928-2017) was a Polish-born American painter and printmaker best known for his contribution to the Op Art movement, which is named after his first major exhibition, “Julian Stanczak: Optical Paintings”. Stanczak was forced into a Siberian labor camp at the beginning of World War II, where he lost the use of his dominant right arm. As a teenager in a Polish refugee camp in Uganda, he learned to paint left-handed. Stanczak created abstract compositions of geometric shapes, which form optical illusions and make his works look as if they are moving, pulsing, or vibrating. He would often incorporate vivid complimentary colors, contributing to the energetic feeling of his work. In the words of the artist, “The primary drive of colors is to give birth to light. But light always changes; it is evasive.” He taught painting both at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and Cleveland Institute of Art, where his students included artists April Gornik and Dana Schutz.