ómós a thabhairt do Victor Vasarely - works 1930 - 1980
  Chronology (1906 - 1997)

19 Meán - 30 Deireadh 2008


1906 Victor Vasarely (Gyözö Vásárhelyi), born on April 9th in Pécs, Hungary. He spent his childhood in Pöstyén (now Piestany, Slovakia), later graduating from secondary school in Budapest (1925).

1925 - 1927 Studied medicine at the University of Budapest. Although he decided to abandon his medical studies after two years to study art.

1928 Studied drawing at the Podolini-Volkmann Academy in Budapest.

1929 Enrolled in Sándor Bortnyik’s workshop, the ‘Budapest Bauhaus,’ where he met his wife, Klára (Claire) Spinner. Makes his first geometric abstractions.

1930 Moved to Paris, and worked as a graphic artist for the firms of Havas, Draeger and Devambez. Began his Zebra studies and his first optical experiments. Married Klára Spinner in 1931. Their first child André was born the same year. A second son, Jean-Pierre (later to be known at the artists Yvaral), was born in 1934.

1940 Met Denise René, his future dealer and collector.

1944 - 1947 Inaugurated the Galerie Denise René in Paris, which he helped found. Published his first edition of prints. Exhibited at the Salon des Surindépendants (1946), the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles (1947) and Galerie Denis René (1948). Created paintings influenced by Surrealism, Cubism and Futurism, although he later considered the works of this period as “fausses routes” (wrong roads).


1944 - 1951 Developed his original abstract language drawn from everyday experiences. Key locations of inspiration where the Denfert ­ Rochereau Metro Station in Paris, the coastal town of Belle Isle and the mountain village of Gordes.

1951 - 1955 Worked on an extensive series of works entitled ‘Noir et Blanc’ (black and white). Created ‘Photographismes,’ large-scale photographic enlargements of black and white drawings, alongside kinetic images made up of superimposed acrylic glass panes. Developed and defined the visual elements of Op art, the movement with which his name had become inextricably linked. In 1955 published his Yellow Manifesto and received the Critics Award in Brussels and the Gold Medal at the Milan Triennial. Completed a series of murals for the University of Caracas in Venezuela, as well as several architectural integrations such as Hommage à Malevitch. Initiated a (now legendary) group exhibition at Galerie Denise René (1955) entitled ‘Le Mouvement’ (the motion). In addition to Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder and Vasarely, the exhibition included works by Yaacov Agam, Pol Bury, Jesús Rafael Soto, Yaakov Agam and Jean Tinguely, and provided a framework and impetus for the artists who were laying the foundations of Kinetic Art. Moved to Arcueil.

1955 - 1965 Completed ‘Folklore Planétaire’ (interstellar folklore) and his ‘Permutations’ series. ‘Unité Plastique’ (pictorial unit) is patented. In the mid 1960’s Vasarely explored the two and three dimensions of the octagon, through the Bidim, Hexagon, Vega, Tridim and Line cycles of work. Participated in numerous exhibitions such as, ‘50 Ans d’Art Moderne’ at the Palais International des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (1958): the ‘Inaugural Selection’ at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1959): ‘Documenta III’ in Kassel, Germany (1964), and most notably, ‘The Responsive Eye’ at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1965). Received the International Guggenheim Award in New York (1964): the Grand Prix de la Gravure in Ljubljana (1965), as well as, the Grand Prize at the VIII Art Biennale of São Paolo (1965). Also awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (1965). Moved to Annet-Sur-Marne.

1966 - 1969 Accomplished several architectural projects, including one for the French pavilion at the World Expo in Montreal (1967). Numerous group exhibitions, among them ‘Lumière et Mouvement’ (light and motion) at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris (1967): ‘10 Ans d’Art vivant (1955-65)’ at the Fondation Maeght, Saint Paul-de-Vence (1968). Solo exhibitions at the Sidney Janis Gallery, New York (1966 and 1968): Galerie Denise René, Paris (1969), and the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest (1969).

1970 - 1975 Inauguration of the Vasarely Museum in Gordes (1970). Developed architectural integrations and educational programmes, initially for the Museum in Gordes, later linked to the Vasarely Foundations in America, Germany and Norway. The Vasarely Foundation is recognised by the French State in 1971 as a “fondation reconnue d’utilité publique”. Published four volumes of ‘Plasti-cité’ and received the International Art Book Award for two of these volumes in 1971 and 1975. Solo exhibitions at the Galerie Denise René (1972) and Sidney Jannis Gallery (1972). Designed the set for the Racine Opera Bérenice, performed in Hungary.

1976 - 1982 Inauguration of the Vasarely Museum in his hometown of Pécs (1976). Opened architecture centre as part of the Vasarely Foundation Aix­en­Provence (1976), which offered one possible solution for the synthesis of art and architecture, and additionally was an international studio for analytical visual experimentation. Held solo exhibitions at the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art (1977), and the Phoenix Art Museum (1979). Created 154 prints that were transported into space by cosmonaut Jean-Loup Chrétien onboard the French-Soviet mission ‘Soyuz 7.’ These works are later sold for the benefit of UNESCO.

1983 - 1990 Vasarely is named an Honorary Citizen of the City of New York, Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1985) and promoted to the rank of Grand Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite in France (1990). Inauguration of the Vasarely Museum at the Zichy Palace in Budapest, Hungary (1987). His wife Klára Spinner dies.

1996 Vasarely Museum closes in Gordes.

1997 Vasarely dies in Paris, March 15, just shy of his 91st birthday.

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