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Francis Celentano: Hallie Ford Exhibition

On View: Francis Celentano at Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem OR
R.D. Row, "The Oregonian", November 23, 2010

Out of a small niche, Francis Celentano created a world.
For nearly five decades, the Seattle painter has examined and practiced the principles of Op Art, a strict form of geometric abstraction that flowered in the mid-'60s. Some of the artists associated with the movement include Ellsworth Kelly, Bridget Riley and Frank Stella. A New York native, Celentano eventually moved to Seattle in the '60s and taught at the University of Washington for roughly 30 years. All the while, he pursued a difficult kind of painting that blends optical illusion with formal mastery.
Like his art, Celentano commands a particular corner of the art world, but a fascinating one, too. And The Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University sheds some light on both the artist and the movement with a new exhibit that opened last week, "Francis Celentano: Form and Color." Assembled by Hallie Ford director John Olbrantz, the show features about three dozen Celentano pieces and is the first major survey of Celentano's work.