Spectrum Delta II - Francis Celentano

Where is it?

Ticketing Level

You will find this op art piece in the South Esplanade between the B Cocncourse exit and Hudson News, near the Delta Air Line ticketing counters.

About the Art

Francis Celentano creates large vivid, geometric abstract paintings that jolt the sense with their optical illusions. If you stand too long in front of his paintings, you will find that they begin to move before your eyes. In Spectrum Delta II, the vertical stripes move up and down, come forward, and then recede as you pass in front, while the colors blend together to form horizontal bands across the work. At times, the colors mix and become another color altogether.

The Details


Francis Celentano




Painting (acrylic on Masonite)


9' 5" high x 47' 5" wide

Did you know?

A celebrated color virtuoso, Celentano painted in black-and-white for three years before beginning his first color series, Alpha, in 1969.

  • <p>© Francis Celentano</p>
  • <p>© Francis Celentano</p>
  • <p>© Francis Celentano</p>
  • <p>Photo courtesy of Don Wilson</p>

About the Artist

In the 1960s, while working as a professor in the School of Art at the University of Washington, Francis Celentano’s burgeoning interest in color theory led to his participation in the development of the op art style of painting. He quickly became a recognizable and important artist in the movement, and he exhibited his work across the U.S. and Europe. Celentano retired from the UW in 1993; he remains in the Pacific Northwest to this day and continues to paint.

"For me, so-called op art (or better, Perceptual Art) functions as a metaphor for the distortions of perception, experience, and reason generously provided by nature and culture." – Francis Celentano

Short Bio

From an early age, Francis Celentano was encouraged to paint and to pursue his interest in the arts. Born in the Bronx, he remained in the city to attend New York University, obtaining his B.A. in 1951 and his M.A. in 1957. His pieces are in museum collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Seattle Art Museum.

Similar Artwork

At the Airport

During the height of the optical art movement in the 1960s, Francis Celentano was developing pieces that suggested activity and rhythm. To see another work of the same artistic movement in the Sea-Tac Airport, visit Richard C. Elliott's piece, Eyes on the World. Follow the STQRY link below to learn more about the similarities between these two op art artists.

Spectrum Delta II - Francis Celentano

A vivid, geometric, and electrifying op art mural measuring over 40' wide.