(Pecs, 1906 – Paris, 2005)
Victor Vasarely was born in the city of Pécs, Hungary, in 1906. Shortly afterwards, his family moved to Pieštany in Slovakia, where he spent his childhood years, though he also travelled extensively across Eastern Europe. Little is known of Vasarely's early life, except that he did not seem to express any artistic impulses, seeming more interested in science.
Internationally recognized as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, his innovations in color and optical illusion have had a strong influence on many modern artists. Spanning most of his career, our collection of his prints and sculptures explores his forays into some of his most famous works such as the plastic alphabet and other iconic periods.
Widely accepted as a "grandfather" and leader of the Op art movement his work titled Zebra, created in 1937, is considered by some to be one of the earliest examples of Op art.
In 1930 he left Hungary and settled in Paris, where he initially supported himself as a commercial artist but continued to do his own work. During the 1930s he was influenced by Constructivism, but by the 1940s his characteristic style of painting animated surfaces of geometric forms and interacting colours had emerged. His style reached maturity in the mid-1950s and 1960s, when he began using brighter, more vibrant colours to further enhance the suggestion of movement through optical illusion.
Vasarely became a naturalized French citizen in 1959. Much of his work is housed in the Vasarely Museum at the Château de Gourdes, in southern France, and in the Vasarely Museum in Budapest. In 1970 he established the Vasarely Foundation, which in 1976 took up quarters near Aix-en-Provence in a building that he designed.