Victor Vasarely

Hungarian/French , 1908 - 1997

French painter and printmaker, Victor Vasarely was born in Pecs, Hungary in 1908. He was one of the leading figures in the development of Op art, which was popular in Europe and the United States during the 1960s. He studied at the Academy of Painting in Budapest from 1925 to 1927 and from 1929 to 1930 he studied under Alexander Bortnyk at the Mühely Academy, (also known as the Budapest Bauhaus). Vasarely was also tutored by Moholy-Nagy, who introduced him to the works of Kandinsky, Gropius, Le Corbusier and Mondrian.

Vasarely moved to Paris in 1930 and worked as a graphic designer for the next decade. Between 1946 and 1948 Vasarely produced a number of tapestries and published his first edition of prints. He was profoundly influenced by the functionalism of the Bauhaus. His Op abstractions, often painted in contrasting colors, are composed of clean-cut geometric colors. He participated in "Le Mouvement" at the Denise René Gallery in Paris in 1955, "50 Ans d'Art Moderne" at the Palais International des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 1958 and in "Inaugural Selection" at the Soloman R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1959. Years later, he was named an Honorary Citizen of the City of New York. In 1985 he was named "Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" in France. Vasarely died in Paris in 1997 at the age of 91.
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