Artist: Victor Vasarely
Size: Image 35" x 18.75"
Signed: Lower right and numbered lower left
Condition: Great condition and framed.
Born on April 9, 1906, in Pecs, Hungary, artist Victor Vasarely initially studied medicine but soon abandoned the field to take up painting at the Podolini-Volkmann Academy in Budapest. There, he studied with Sandor Bortniky, through which Vasarely learned about the functional artistic style taught to students at the Bauhaus art school in Germany. It was one of a variety of styles that would influence Vasarely before he became the patriarch of Op Art, an abstract form of art featuring geometric patterns, bright colors and spatial trickery.
An Emerging Talent
Still an emerging artist in 1930, Vasarely traveled to Paris to study optics and color, earning a living in graphic design. In addition to the artists of the Bauhaus, Vasarely admired early Abstract Expressionism. In Paris, he found a patron, Denise Rene, who helped him open up an art gallery in 1945. He exhibited his works of graphic design and painting at the gallery. Vasarely unstintingly joined together his influences—the Bauhaus style and Abstract Expressionism—to reach new levels of geometric precision and foster the Op Art movement in the 1960s. His brilliant works went mainstream in the forms of posters and fabrics.
The ArtRepublic website describes Op Art as Vasarely’s “own geometric form of abstraction, which he varied to create different optical patterns with a kinetic effect. The artist makes a grid in which he arranges geometric forms in brilliant colors in such a way that the eye perceives a fluctuating movement.”
The Function of Art
In Vasarely’s obituary, the New York Times reported that Vasarely viewed his work as the link between the Bauhaus and a form of modern design that would spare the public “visual pollution.”
The Times noted, “He thought that art would have to combine with architecture to survive, and in later years made many studies and proposals for urban design. He also devised a computer program for the designing of his art -- as well as a do-it-yourself kit for making Op Art paintings -- and left much of the actual fabrication of his work to assistants.”
According to the paper, Vasarely said, ''It is the original idea that is unique, not the object itself.''