Database

Victor Vasarely

Victor Vasarely

Born April 9 1906, Pécs
Died March 15 1997, Paris

A world-famous painter, sculptor and printer. As a pioneer of the artistic style of op art he is one of the most famous personalities of European and world art from the second half of the twentieth century. He arranged composition elements into millions of different variations, using basic geometric shapes: circle, square, ellipse, rhomboid, and an unlimited colour range. He used the spatial effects of cold and warm colours, contrasts between light and dark, a linear perspective, and elements of axonometric projection. His works are a marriage of the rational and the illusive. He worked towards the improvement of printing and he promoted screen print reproduction as a medium with artistic and aesthetic value.


painting, graphics, sculpture, kinetic art, op art, tapestry

1906

He was born on the 9th of April in Pécs, Hungary, as Vásárhelyi Gyözö. He spent his childhood in Pöstyén (today Piešťany, Slovakia).

1919

He and his family moved to Budapest where he studied at secondary school.

1925

He did not finish his university studies of medicine. He began to study fine arts.

1927

He attended the private academy Podolini Volkmann in Budapest, where he primarily specialized in classic academic painting.

1928

At the Sándor Bortnyik Art Workshop (Mühely), known as the Budapest Bauhaus, he dealt with graphic design and typography. He met his future wife Claire Spinner (1908–1990) there. He created his first geometrical abstractions.

1930

He married Claire Spinner (sons André and Jean-Pierre. The latter became famous under the artistic name Yvaral later). He journeyed to Paris, where he worked as a graphic designer and a creative consultant for Havas, Draeger, and Devambez. He produced a few curricula and study materials for a school with similar specializations to the Bortnyik Workshop (graphic design and typography). He gave up the idea of establishing his own school.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Budapest)

1933

Contrasts between black and white and zebra and tiger motifs started to appear in his works.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Budapest)

1937

HORN
HORN (graphics)
SUPERPOSITION
SUPERPOSITION (graphics)


1938

He made his first op art painting Zebra.

1940

He met Denise René who supported him as a collector and a gallery owner.

1942

He worked in the Saint-Céré studio.

1944

He helped to establish Denise René Gallery, which was inaugurated in Paris. He published the first edition of prints. He exhibited at Salon des Surindépendants (1946), Salon des Réalités Nouvelles (1947), and at Denis René Gallery (1948). He created oil paintings inspired by surrealism, cubism, and futurism, but he later referred to the works from this period as a "dead end". The poet Jacques Prévert described Vasarely's black paintings (image, noir) as "imaginoires".
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)

1945

He moved to Arcueil, in the suburbs of Paris.

1946

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)

1947

He created his distinctive abstract painting structures. The interior elements of the Denfert-Rochereau subway station, the geometric structures of houses in the Côte d‘Azur, the coastal town of Belle Isle, and the mountain village of Gordes were a key inspiration for him. He also worked with his own black and white photographs which he transferred to Plexiglass.

1949

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)

1950

KWARTZ
KWARTZ (graphics)

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Copenhagen)

1951

He dealt with the basic principles of kinetic and vibrating black and white paintings. He created the Noir et Blanc [Black and White] series. He created the "Photographismes" photography series , large projections of blow-ups of pencil or Indian ink drawings. He developed and defined visual elements of op art which were also used in a few architectural projects.
HARPE
HARPE (graphics)
PHOTOGRAPHISME
PHOTOGRAPHISME (graphics)
TEREK
TEREK (painting)
TROMPETTE
TROMPETTE (graphics)
VIOLON
VIOLON (graphics)


1952

IBADAN
IBADAN (graphics)

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)

1954

He dealt with the basic principles of kinetic and vibrating black and white paintings. He created the Noir et Blanc [Black and White] series. He created the "Photographismes" photography series , large projections of blow-ups of pencil or Indian ink drawings. He developed and defined visual elements of op art which were also used in a few architectural projects.
MANDOLINE
MANDOLINE (graphics)


1955

He began to work systematically on "plastic unity" and examined new possibilities for kinetic works. He won the following awards: Prix de la Critique, Brussels
He finished his works from the "Interstellar Folklore“ cycle and focused on the artist's permutation series. In the mid 1960s, Vasarely dealt with two-dimensional and three-dimensional representations of hexagons and created works for the Bidim, Hexagone, Tridim, Vega, and Line cycles.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Brussels)

1956

ERIDAN ROUGE
ERIDAN ROUGE (architecture)

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Cologne)

1958

CITHARE
CITHARE (graphics)
FLUTE
FLUTE (graphics)

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Buenos Aires)

1959

On the 2nd of March, he patented his artistic technique "Unités plastique", working with basic geometric forms (three circles, two squares, two rhomboids, two long rectangles, one triangle, two semicircles, and six ellipses), and a strictly defined palette of colours, including three reds, three greens, three blues, two violets, two yellows, black, white, and grey. Using the "plastic alphabet", he started to produce serial art with endless permutations.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Cologne)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Cologne)

1960

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Brussels)

1961

He left for Annet-sur-Marne, where he lived until his death.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Cologne)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)

1962

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Helsinki)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)

1963

He presented his art under the title "Folklore planetaire".
L´Unité Plastique (solo exhibition, Paris)

1964

He was awarded the Guggenheim Prize, New York.
TSILLAG
TSILLAG (graphics)

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Düsseldorf)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Den Haag)
Vasarely et l´Art Social (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Bern)

1965

He was referred to as the "father of op art" at an exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He won the following awards: Paris, L’Ordre des Arts et Lettres, Sixth International Print Biennial, Ljubljana, Grand Prix, Eighth International Biennial Of Fine Arts, Sao Paolo, Grand Prix, Société d’Encouragement á l’Art et á l’Industrie, Paris, Gold Medal.
ZETT  KSZ
ZETT KSZ (graphics)


1966

He was awarded honorary citizenship of the city of New Orleans
ALOM BR (rouge)
ALOM BR (rouge) (graphics)
HARMAS
HARMAS (mixed media)
SIKRA F
SIKRA F (graphics)
TER UR NB
TER UR NB (graphics)

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Cologne)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Prague)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, London)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)

1967

He attended the Ninth Biennial, Tokyo, and won the Special Award of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was awared the Painting Award by the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburg.
EG PERMUTATION
EG PERMUTATION (graphics)
ION 11
ION 11 (architecture)

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Amsterdam)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Prague)
Tapisseries recentes (solo exhibition, Paris)
Multiples (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Chicago (IL))
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Houston (TX))

1968

"Prestige du Papier" Award, Paris First Prize at the Second International Print Biennial, Krakow.
DIA OR CF
DIA OR CF (graphics)

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Budapest)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Kraków)
Dodekaedr (group exhibition, Louny)

1969

The Gold Palette Award at the Festival International de Peinture de Cagnes-sur-Mer
TER-F2
TER-F2 (sculpture)

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Pécs)
Folklore Planetaire (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Budapest)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Geneva)

1970

He prepared for the first retrospective, architectural implementations, and educational programmes, originally produced for Vasarely's Museum in Gordes (1970), and later for Vasarely's foundations in America, Germany, and Norway. He was awarded the Legion of Honour, Paris.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Brussels)
Polychromies Multidimensionnelles (solo exhibition, Paris)
Kanta et Iboua (solo exhibition, Paris)
From Renoir to Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)

1971

Art Books, Jerusalem, Diano Marina, International Award, Books Presenting the Art of the City, Leipzig, Silver Medal, International Award. Aix-en-Provance, Municipal Honorary Award in Győr, Hungary, City's 700th Jubilee, Honorary Municipal Award for Theatrical Scenery.
OND-LZ
OND-LZ (graphics)

Collage (solo exhibition, Paris)
Gordes Album (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Tokyo)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Düsseldorf)

1972

Fourth International Print Biennial, Krakow, Special Award by Warsaw National Museum.
Vasarely Retrospective (solo exhibition, Calgary)
Vasarely Retrospective (solo exhibition, Munich)
Vasarely Retrospective (solo exhibition, Milano)
Vasarely Retrospective (solo exhibition, New York (NY))

1973

An honorary citizen of Villeparisis.
BI OCTA B
BI OCTA B (graphics)
GYEMANT OND
GYEMANT OND (graphics)
PEREGUE
PEREGUE (graphics)
STRI ARCT 2
STRI ARCT 2 (graphics)

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, )
Octal Album (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Toronto)

1974

International Print Biennial, Fredrikstad, Gold Medal.
Eastern European Art from the Collection of the Museum Bochum (group exhibition, Bochum)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Zurich)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Tokyo)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Milano)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, London)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Geneva)

1975

Architecture Academy, Paris. Art Books Fourth Biennial, Musée d’ Israel, Jerusalem, Gold Medal.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Madrid)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Stockholm)

1976

The Fondation Vasarely in Aix-en-Provence was opened. It offered possibilities in the synthesis of art and architecture and it also included an international studio for analytical visual experiments. Vasarely's museum in Pécs was opened in the same year. Vasarely was awarded the honorary citizenship of Pécs.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Pécs)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Düsseldorf)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)

1977

He was awarded the Andres Bello Medal, Venezuela
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Amsterdam)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Stockholm)

1978

He won the Goslar, "Der Kaiserring", Art Award, Munich
TEKE
TEKE (graphics)

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, New York (NY))

1979

An honorary citizen of Aix-en-Provance.
TRI DAGG
TRI DAGG (graphics)


1980

Rio-Branco Award, Brazil
KAGLO  II
KAGLO II (graphics)

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Hannover)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Vienna)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, )

1981

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Karlsruhe)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Budapest)

1982

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, New York (NY))


1984

Artcurial (solo exhibition, Munich)

1985

MIMA SOL 2
MIMA SOL 2 (graphics)


1987

The second Vasarely museum was opened in Hungary, at the Zichy Palace, Budapest.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Budapest)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Brno)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Prague)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Schwerin)
Les annees 50 (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Salzburg)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Nuremberg)

1990

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Olomouc)

1991

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Trenčín)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Ostrava)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Kladno)

1993

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Tokyo)

1995

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Lausanne)

1996

The Vasarely museum in Gordes was closed.

1998

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Ulm)

2001

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Turku)

2003

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Graphics Arts. Graphical Techniques during the Six Century (group exhibition, Olomouc)

2005

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Krems)

2007

White & Black (group exhibition, Budapest)
Victor Vasarely | From the Janus Pannonius Museum in Pecs (solo exhibition, Olomouc)

2011

Transparency – Looking Through (group exhibition, Budapest)
Objects (group exhibition, Bratislava)

2012

Point.Systems - From Pointilism to Pixel (group exhibition, Ludwigshafen)


2017

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Hluboká nad Vltavou)


2019

VASARELY - Sharing Forms (solo exhibition, Paris)

Muzeum umění Olomouc 2011-2016