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Photograph circa 1930
9 April 1906
|Died||15 March 1997 90) (aged|
|Nationality|| Hungarian |
|Known for||Painting and Sculpture|
Victor Vasarely (French: [viktɔʁ vazaʁəli] ; born Győző Vásárhelyi, Hungarian: [ˈvaːʃaːrhɛji ˈɟøːzøː] ; 9 April 1906 – 15 March 1997), was a Hungarian-French artist, who is widely accepted as a "grandfather" and leader of the Op art movement.
The French are an ethnic group and nation who are identified with the country of France. This connection may be ethnic, legal, historical, or cultural.
Op art, short for optical art, is a style of visual art that uses optical illusions.
His work entitled Zebra, created in the 1930s, is considered by some to be one of the earliest examples of Op art.
Vasarely was born in Pécs and grew up in Pöstyén (now Piešťany, Slovakia) and Budapest, where, in 1925, he took up medical studies at Eötvös Loránd University. In 1927, he abandoned medicine to learn traditional academic painting at the private Podolini-Volkmann Academy. In 1928/1929, he enrolled at Sándor Bortnyik's private art school called Műhely (lit. "Workshop", in existence until 1938), then widely recognized as Budapest's centre of Bauhaus studies. Cash-strapped, the műhely could not offer all that the Bauhaus offered. Instead it concentrated on applied graphic art and typographical design.
Pécs is the fifth largest city of Hungary, located on the slopes of the Mecsek mountains in the south-west of the country, close to its border with Croatia. It is the administrative and economic centre of Baranya County. Pécs is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pécs.
Piešťany is a town in Slovakia. It is located in the western part of the country within the Trnava Region and is the seat of its own district. It is the biggest and best known spa town in Slovakia and has around 30,000 inhabitants (2012).
Budapest is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city had an estimated population of 1,752,704 in 2016 distributed over a land area of about 525 square kilometres. Budapest is both a city and county, and forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres and a population of 3,303,786, comprising 33 percent of the population of Hungary.
In 1929 he painted his Blue Study and Green Study. In 1930, he married his fellow student Claire Spinner (1908–1990). Together they had two sons, Andre and Jean-Pierre. Jean-Pierre was also an artist and used the professional name 'Yvaral'. In Budapest, he worked for a ball-bearings company in accounting and designing advertising posters. Vasarely became a graphic designer and a poster artist during the 1930s combining patterns and organic images with each other.
Jean-Pierre Vasarely (1934–2002), professionally known as Yvaral, was a French artist working in the fields of op-art and kinetic art from 1954 onwards. He was the son of Victor Vasarely, who was a pioneer of op-art.
Vasarely left Hungary and settled in Paris in 1930. He worked as a graphic artist and as a creative consultant at the advertising agencies Havas, Draeger and Devambez (1930–1935). His interactions with other artists during this time were limited. He thought of opening an institution modeled after Sándor Bortnyik's műhely and developed some teaching material for it. Having lived mostly in cheap hotels, he settled in 1942/1944 in Saint-Céré in the Lot département. After the Second World War, he opened an atelier in Arcueil, a suburb about 10 kilometers from the centre of Paris (in the Val-de-Marne département of the Île-de-France). In 1961, he finally settled in Annet-sur-Marne (in the Seine-et-Marne département).
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
Sándor Bortnyik was a Hungarian painter and graphic designer. His work was greatly influenced by Cubism, Expressionism and Constructivism.
Saint-Céré is a commune of 3,540 people situated in the Lot valley in the Lot. The commune includes within its borders the castle of St-Laurent-Les-Tours, where the artist Jean Lurçat lived and worked for many years, and from which he operated a secret radio for the French Resistance. The castle still houses a collection of his works.
Vasarely eventually went on to produce art and sculpture using optical illusion. Over the next three decades, Vasarely developed his style of geometric abstract art, working in various materials but using a minimal number of forms and colours:
An optical illusion is an illusion caused by the visual system and characterized by a visual percept that appears to differ from reality. Illusions come in a wide variety; their categorization is difficult because the underlying cause is often not clear but a classification proposed by Richard Gregory is useful as an orientation. According to that, there are three main classes: physical, physiological, and cognitive illusions, and in each class there are four kinds: Ambiguities, distortions, paradoxes, and fictions. A classical example for a physical distortion would be the apparent bending of a stick half immerged in water; an example for a physiological paradox is the motion aftereffect. An example for a physiological fiction is an afterimage. Three typical cognitive distortions are the Ponzo, Poggendorff, and Müller-Lyer illusion. Physical illusions are caused by the physical environment, e.g. by the optical properties of water. Physiological illusions arise in the eye or the visual pathway, e.g. from the effects of excessive stimulation of a specific receptor type. Cognitive visual illusions are the result of unconscious inferences and are perhaps those most widely known.
Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde art movement that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture. Cubism has been considered the most influential art movement of the 20th century. The term is broadly used in association with a wide variety of art produced in Paris during the 1910s and throughout the 1920s.
Expressionism is a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas. Expressionist artists have sought to express the meaning of emotional experience rather than physical reality.
Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French, Russian and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts.
In October 1967, designer Will Burtin invited Vasarely to make a presentation to Burtin's Vision ’67 conference, held at New York University. On 5 June 1970, Vasarely opened his first dedicated museum with over 500 works in a renaissance palace in Gordes (closed in 1996). A second major undertaking was the Foundation Vasarely in Aix-en-Provence, a museum housed in a distinct structure specially designed by Vasarely. It was inaugurated in 1976 by French president Georges Pompidou, two years after his death. Sadly the museum is now in a state of disrepair, several of the pieces on display have been damaged by water leaking from the ceiling. Also, in 1976 his large kinematic object Georges Pompidou was installed in the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Vasarely Museum located at his birthplace in Pécs, Hungary, was established with a large donation of works by Vasarely. In the same decade, he took a stab at industrial design with a 500-piece run of the upscale Suomi tableware by Timo Sarpaneva that Vasarely decorated for the German Rosenthal porcelain maker's Studio Linie.In 1982 154 specially created serigraphs were taken into space by the cosmonaut Jean-Loup Chrétien on board the French-Soviet spacecraft Salyut 7 and later sold for the benefit of UNESCO. In 1987, the second Hungarian Vasarely museum was established in Zichy Palace in Budapest with more than 400 works.
He died age 90 in Paris on 15 March 1997.
A new Vasarely exhibit was mounted in Paris at Musee en Herbe in 2012.
An exhibit, whose title is "Le Partage des Formes" is currently taking place at Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou from 6 Februari 2019 up to 6 May 2019.
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