Victor Vasarely

(1906 – 1997)

Hungary

Biography

 

Victor Vasarely, born in 1906, was a French/Hungarian preeminent painter known as the father of the Op Art movement. Vasarely studied medicine at the Budapest University in his early 20s before abandoning his medical studies to go to the Muhely Academy, the center of the Bauhaus movement in Budapest. While studying there, he was influenced by the work of color theorist and artist Josef Albers, as well as the Constructivist methods promoted by artists such as Wassily Kandinsky.

 

While Vasarely’s earlier work was concerned more with color theory, during the 1950s and 1960s his work became more focused on the optical potential of the two-dimensional surface. He began to use complex and colorful patterns to actively engage the viewer’s eye and to convey a sense of kinetic energy across the two-dimensional surface. His works present color, form, and pattern as a single interconnected element, a concept that was critical to the foundation of the Op Art movement and the production of his more mature works.

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