Database

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

1919–1925
He and his family moved to Budapest where he studied at secondary school.

1925

1925–1927
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

1928–1929
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

1933–1938
Contrasts between black and white and zebra and tiger motifs started to appear in his works.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Budapest)

1937


SUPERPOSITION (graphics)

HORN (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

1944–1947
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

1945–1961
He moved to Arcueil, in the suburbs of Paris.

1946

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)

1947

1947–1951
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 (graphics)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Copenhagen)

1951

1951–1955
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.

PHOTOGRAPHISME (graphics)

TEREK (painting)

HARPE (graphics)

TROMPETTE (graphics)

VIOLON (graphics)

1952


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 (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; Gold Medal, Milan; International Prize, Venezuela.
1955–1965
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 (architecture)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Cologne)

1958


CITHARE (graphics)

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)

1960

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Brussels)

1961

1961–1997
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 (graphics)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Bern)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Düsseldorf)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Haag)
Vasarely et l´Art Social (solo exhibition, Paris)

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 (graphics)

1966

He was awarded honorary citizenship of the city of New Orleans;
He won the Special Prize at the First International Print Biennial in Krakow;
Gold Medal at the Second International Congress on Empirical Aesthetics, Rimini.

ALOM BR (rouge) (graphics)

HARMAS (mixed media)

SIKRA F (graphics)

TER UR NB (graphics)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Cologne)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, London)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Prague)

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 (graphics)

ION 11 (architecture)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Amsterdam)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Chicago )
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Houston)
Tapisseries recentes (solo exhibition, Paris)
Multiples (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Prague)

1968

"Prestige du Papier" Award, Paris
First Prize at the Second International Print Biennial, Krakow.

DIA OR CF (graphics)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Budapest)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Krakow)
Dodekaedr (group exhibition, Ústí nad Orlicí)

1969

The Gold Palette Award at the Festival International de Peinture de Cagnes-sur-Mer;
Honorary professor, Hungarian School of Applied Arts, Budapest.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Budapest)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Geneva)
Folklore Planetaire (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Pécs)

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.

VEGA PAL 6 (graphics)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Brussels)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)
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 (graphics)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Düsseldorf)
Collage (solo exhibition, Paris)
Gordes Album (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Tokyo)

1972

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

1973

An honorary citizen of Villeparisis.

GYEMANT OND (graphics)

STRI ARCT 2 (graphics)

BI OCTA B (graphics)

PEREGUE (graphics)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Mexico)
Octal Album (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Toronto)

1974

International Print Biennial, Fredrikstad, Gold Medal.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Curych)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Geneva)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, London)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Milan)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Tokyo)

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, Düsseldorf)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Pécs)

1977

He was awarded the Andres Bello Medal, Venezuela;
Honorary PhD, University of Cleveland.
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Amsterdam)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Paris)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Stockholm)

1978

He won the Goslar, "Der Kaiserring", Art Award, Munich;
Bruckmann Publishers, Centennial Gold Medal.

TEKE (graphics)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, New York )

1979

An honorary citizen of Aix-en-Provance.

TRI DAGG (graphics)

1980

Rio-Branco Award, Brazil;
Meritorious Worker of France.

KAGLO II (graphics)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Hannover)
Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Vienna)

1981

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

1982

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, New York )

1983

1984

Artcurial (solo exhibition, Munich)

1985


MIMA SOL 2 (graphics)

1987

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

1990

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Olomouc)

1991

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

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)

2005

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Krems)

2007

Fekete & Fehér (group exhibition, Budapest)

2011

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

2012

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

2015

2017

Victor Vasarely (solo exhibition, Hluboká nad Vltavou)

Muzeum umění Olomouc 2011-2016