(1906 - 1997)
Victor Vasarely was active/lived in France, Hungary. Victor Vasarely is known for op art painting, geometric images.
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Biography from Auctionata
Victor Vasarely was born in Hungary in 1906, as Gyözö Vásárhelyi.
Biography from American Design Ltd.
He moved to Paris in 1930, where he worked successfully as a commercial graphic artist. All the while, he was researching the optical and emotional opportunities of several different graphical methods. He came to the result that geometrical means can create sensual perceptions that convey new ideas about space, matter and energy. He created an independent geometric abstraction whose variations lead to image patterns with kinetic effects.
The artist arranged a wattle of geometric forms in bright colors so that the eye perceives it as a fluctuating movement. Vasarely had a huge influence on the Op art, and is sometimes even named as one of its founders.
He participated regularly in the documenta between 1955 and 1968, and designed the official logo for the XX. Olympics in Munich. The Vasarely Museum, established in 1976, can be found in his city of birth, Pécs. A second one, opened in 1987, is located in the castle Zichy in Budapest.
Victor Vasarely died in 1997, in Paris.
Victor Vasarely's innovations in color and optical illusion have had a
profound influence on contemporary art. He is in the vanguard of
contemporary artists who seek new ways
to bring beauty and reality closer together, and his goal is to create
becomes an integral part of everyday life and the environment.
Biography from RoGallery.com
artist was born in Pecs, Hungary, in 1908. After receiving his
baccalaureate degree in medicine, he began studying art at the
Podolini-Volkmann Academy in Budapest. In 1929, he transferred to
the Muhely Academy, also known as the Budapest Bauhaus. There he
became familiar with contemporary research in color and optics by
Johannes Itten, Josef Albers and the Constructivists Malevich and
After his first one-man show in Budapest in 1930,
Vasarely moved to Paris, the art center of the world. He
established a successful business as a graphic draftsman, developing
his fine art in the evenings after work.
In 1943, Vasarely began
to work extensively in oils, creating both abstract and figurative
canvases. His first Paris exhibition occurred the following year
at Galerie Denise René, which he helped to found. Vasarely became
the leader of the avant-garde group of important artists affiliated
with the gallery.
During the 1950s, Vasarely wrote a series of
manifestos on the use of optical phenomena for artistic purposes. These
were a significant influence on younger artists. According to
Vasarely, "In the last analysis, the picture-object in pure composition
appears to me as the last link in the family 'paintings,' still
possessing by its shining beauty, an end in itself. But it is already
more than a painting. The forms and colors which compose it are still
situated, on the plane, but the plastic event which they trigger fuses
in front of and in the plane. It is thereby an end, but also a
beginning, a kind of launching pad for future achievements."
1955, Galerie Denise René hosted a major group exhibition in connection
with Vasarely's painting experiments with movement. This was the first
important exhibition of kinetic art; in addition to art by Vasarely, it
included works by Yaacov Agam, Pol Bury, Soto and Jean Tinguely, among
others. Most Americans were first introduced to Vasarely by the
groundbreaking exhibition, "The Responsive Eye," at New York's Museum
of Modern Art in 1965. The show confirmed Vasarely's
international reputation as the father of Op art.
The artist has
madenumerous monumental sculptures and murals, including works for the
Students' Residential Center of Caracas; Faculté des Sciences,
Marseille-Saint-Jerome; University of Bonn; Padagogische Hochschule,
Essen; University of the Ruhr, Bochum; Maine-Montparnasse Station,
Paris; Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Montpellier; and
Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Vasarely has received numerous
important awards and honors, including the Guggenheim Prize, New York;
Painting Prize, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; Grand Prize, Eighth
Biennial of Art, Sao Paulo; Medal of Honor, Aix-en-Provence; Gold
Medal, Milan Triennial; Foreign Ministers' Prize, Tokyo Biennale; and
Certificate of Distinction and Presidential Citation, New York
University. In 1970, Vasarely was named a Knight of the Legion of Honor
in France. He has received an honorary Ph.D. from Cleveland State
University and is an honorary professor at the School of Applied Arts,
Budapest, as well as an honorary citizen of New Orleans and
Among the many major books which have been written on Vasarely are Vasarely, A Survey of His Work by Jean Clay, Victor Vasarely by Abraham Moles, Vasarely by Gaston Diehi, Vasarely et le Cinetisme by Michael Ragon, Vasarely I-IV by Victor Vasarely and Vasarely by Werner Spies.
artist's works are included in almost every museum in the world which
has a collection of contemporary art. Major museums in Gordes and in
Aix-en-Provence, France; in Pecs, Hungary; and a wing of the Zichy
Palace, Hungary are devoted exclusively to the art of Vasarely.
1989, Victor Vasarely visited the United States for the first time in
many years to participate in the gala openings of two major Vasarely
retrospective exhibitions at Circle Gallery-Soho, New York and Circle
Selected Major Museum Collections
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Museum of Modern Art
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Art Institute of Chicago
Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art
Musee d'Art Moderne
Yale University Art Gallery
Museum of Art
Detroit Institute of Arts
Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art
Dallas Museum of Fine Arts
New Orleans Museum of Art
St. Louis City Art Museum
Philadelphia Museum of Art Dordrecht Museum
Le Havre, Holland
University of Manchester, England
Musee Royaux des Beaux-Arts
Musee de Leverkusen
Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe
Musee d'Art Moderne
Museum of Vienna
Museum of Art
Museum of Art
Tel Aviv Art Museum
Museum of Art
Hungarian-born Victor Vasarely is known as a founder of Optical
Art. Vasarely was born in Pecs and grew up in Pieštany (then
Pöstyén) and Budapest where in 1925 he took up medical studies at
Budapest 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 Muhely (lit. "workshop",
in existence until 1938), then widely recognized as the center of
Bauhaus studies in Budapest. Cash-strapped, the muhely could not offer
the whole range of its illustrious Bauhaus model, and concentrated on
applied graphic art and typographic design.
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excellence in drawing was quickly noticed. 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.
In Budapest, he worked for a ball-bearings company in accounting and
designing advertising posters. Victor Vasarely became a graphics
designer and a poster artist during the 1930's who combined patterns
and organic images with each other.
He studied at the Bauhaus
Muhely in Budapest and in 1930 emigrated to Paris where he developed
his particular vision which stems from the idea of democratizing the
art object. Influenced greatly by the problems of the world's cities,
he feels his work offers a solution by presenting a clear view of the
Vasarely left Hungary
and settled in Paris in 1930 working 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 played with the idea of opening up an institution
modeled after Sándor Bortnyik Muhely's 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 some 10 kilometers from
the center of Paris (in the Val-de-Marne département of the
Île-de-France). In 1961 he finally settled in Annet-sur-Marne (in the
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:
has used the income from the sale of these "investigations," as he
calls his prints, to establish a socio-cultural foundation in
Aix-en-Provence, France, for the study of the integration of plastic
beauty at all levels of the urban environment. He is represented in
major museums all over the world and has received many artistic and
honorary awards. Among these distinctions are the French Legion of
Honor, the Guggenheim Prize, and the Gold Medal of the Triennale in
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 Fondation 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. 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 birth place in Pécs, Hungary, was established
with a large donation of works by Vasarely. 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
He died in Paris on 15 March 1997.
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