Sunday, September 20, 2009

Victor Vasarely and Op Art

Inspired by the innovative use of color in Bauhaus art, Hungarian painter Victor Vasarely (1906-1997) developed his own abstract-geometric visual language, exploring the relationship between pure form and pure color. Vasarely`s experimentation with optical effects in the 1940s and 50s earned him a central role in the evolution of Op Art. By the late 50s and early 60s, he concentrated on the "democratization of art" by no longer producing his works as expensive originals but in large editions of affordable screen prints; this attempt to redefine the position and function of the artist in society was an important first step in the Pop Art movement. Vasarely`s boldly colorful and eye-popping paintings are instantly recognizable and remain entirely modern and relevant today.

OP ART, a major development in the 1960s of painting that created optical effects for the spectator. These effects ranged from the subtle, to the disturbing and disorienting. Op painting used a framework of purely geometric forms as the basis for its effects and also drew on colour theory and the physiology and psychology of perception. Leading figures were Bridget Riley, Jesus Raphael Soto, and Victor Vasarely. Vasarely was one of the originators of Op art. Soto's work often involves mobile elements and points up the close connection between Kinetic and Op art.