Friday, April 29, 2011

Victor Vasarely

Since we study Op art in 4th grade, I thought it would be good to explore the art of Victor Vasarely. So I have chosen him as our April artist. He was born on April 9, 1906 in Hungary. He moved to Paris, France in 1930. He created many geometric abstract paintings, prints, and sculptures during his lifetime. He lived to be 90 years old.

He is considered the founder of Op art. If you forgot the definition of Op art, it is a style of abstract art that was popular in the 1960s that used positive and negative space and/or colors and contrasts to create visual effects that fooled the viewer's eyes.

Take a look at some of his art that I really like.
This is one of his earlier pieces of art. Can you tell what they are?

They are Zebras. Do you see them both?

This one really causes my eyes problems. No color - just positive and negative space and lines. It looks very simple to make, but it is harder than you think.

I love this one - just black and white shapes reversed. It is called Cassiopee II and was painted in 1958. I think I could come up with a simple design using just shapes in black and white. Do you think you could too?

I think we could definitely make an op art projects using just circles and squares. See this one by Vasarely. Is it simple or complicated? I think we would have to study color and the color wheel to make a composition just using squares and circles that was also an optical illusion.

This final example is also in color and really makes you think it is coming up off the surface. Do you see the sphere? Is it coming toward or away from you?

Click on the video to see a nice collection of Op art by Vasarely and some other Op artists.