Victor Vasarely (Hungary, 1906 – 1997)
The Boccara Gallery is pleased to count among the artists of its collection Victor Vasarely, an internationally renowned artist whose optically complex and illusionistic paintings conferred the status of “grandfather” and leader of the Op art movement. Vasarely’s vision of geometric abstraction where “pure form and pure color can signify the world” pushed him to place primary importance on the development of an engaging, accessible visual language that could be universally understood. Through precise combinations of lines, geometric shapes, colors, and shading, he created eye-popping paintings, full of the illusion of depth, movement, and three-dimensionality.
Victor Vasarely was born in Pecs (Hungary). He began studying medicine, left these courses and joined the fine art (1927-1929), then the Bauhaus of Budapest where he became the pupil of Sandor Bortnyik. His first personal exhibition was organized in Budapest in 1930, this same year he settled down in Paris.
During a first period, Vasarely created a plastic alphabet whose infinite combinations had to give birth to an “intellectual and methodical art”. He gradually gave up the applied arts and was interested in an abstract pictorial creation. Between 1935 and 1947, Vasarel painted with a more classical representation, portraits, still lives and landscapes. Later he created a set of works about Belle-Isle-en-Mer and the artist wanted to show the internal geometry in the nature. He wrote the “Yellow Manifesto” in 1955 in which he defined the kinetic Art. The compositions were more and more elaborated, compositions where geometrical elements were united together, fitted together, switched around, to get closer to the cellular structure.
In 1965, Victor Vasarely participated to the exhibition “Responsive Eye” (New York) wich dedicated the optical Art (Op Art). The man was interested in the physics, in the architecture, in the industry and wanted his universal language. In 1976, he created his foundation in Aix-en-Provence, and drew a building that concretized his conception of the art in the town. Vasarely set up a contemporary art center and a meeting and search lavatory for artists, architects and engineers. He has been celebrated in the biggest museums of the world.
Victor Vasarely died in 1997 in Annet-sur-Marne (France).