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北 京 科 技 大 学 University of Science and Technology Beijing

视觉文化研究 / Research of Visual Culture 周雯老师 / Professor Wen Zhou 作业1-B号 / Homework Nº I-B

丽芳 / Lai Guim 2012年10月16日

Homework Nº1-B

主题: 美术家: 年: 尺寸: 技术:

Victor Vasarely Title Unknown XI Circa 1980 60 x 60 cms. 丝网印刷

视觉文化研究 / Research of Visual Culture

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Homework Nº1-B THE ARTIST: Victor Vasarely (1906-1997) Victor Vasarely was a Hungarian-French abstract-kinetic painter considered as the father of Op-Art, short for Optical, that is, making use of optical illusions. In 1928, he abandoned his studies in Medicine at the Budapest University to go to the Muhely Academy, the center of the Bauhaus movement in Budapest. While studying there, he get the chance to get in touch with the Constructivist movement through artists such as Vasily Kandinsky and Kasimir Malevich, and also with the work of Josef Albers, a German-American painter who also teached in the Bauhaus. Albers is knowed by his abstract creations and for his remarkable book The Interaction of Color, used until nowadays as a fundamental basis of graphic knowdlege in Design and Art schools. Under the influence of these Bauhaus exponents, Vasarely started his own path to abstraction, dedicating his whole life to graphic studies. Vasarely started from a deep fascination with linear pattering to evolve naturally into more complex compositions based on simple geometric shapes –squares, rectangles, circles and hexagons–. His goal was to achieve optical illusions related to space and movement inside the two dimensional canvas of the paint. Colorful patterns are presented to the spectator, as an invitation to sense the energy contained in these new forms created from pure rationality applied to the form and its visual effects on human eye. His work is widely recognized as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His artistic creation has deep influenced every visual field, not restricted to Art and Design, but also inside Architecture, Urbanism and beyond, reaching Computer Science and Fashion. Even by the time his name already achieved great fame, his mayor aim was still to create art not only accessible to the well educated elite of the world of around him, but to everyone. “(...) since not everyone is permitted to study contemporary art in depth, in place of its ‘comprehension‘ we advocate its ‘presence‘. With sensitivity being a faculty proper to humans, our messages will certainly reach the average person naturally through his/her emotive receptivity.“ – Victor Vasarely, Notes for a Manifesto, 1955 His legacy also remains in a serie of manifestos, where he explain his conception of form and color as an unity of creation, capable to contain itself the concepts of the material as well as the eternal, revealing though his mathematical abstractions the very same structure of the Universe.

视觉文化研究 / Research of Visual Culture

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With the apparition of the photography, the artistic production had the chance to take a breath from being responsible to capture our existance as human beings in a realistic way. New forms of creation emerge, individual interpretation wins over formal representation. After this “liberation“, a huge explosion of creativity was the scenario for the art at the begining of the 20th century. Since then, artist are now in the search of new expressions. In the case of Vasarely, he wanted to create something absolutely new, something that in fact did not exist in nature. From geometry, his exploration of the image evolves from a early figuration and goes deeper and deeper into the way to abstraction. For him, line does not exist but in the tight relation between color and form. Line will be a shared property that defines figure and background: form is color to him. Color with all that this concept implies: color as light, with hues, saturations and lighness in a huge range of combinatios. Therefore, a range of possible interactions equaly vast. A same form could be colored in so many diferent ways, producing different optical effect in every potential choice. In this serigraphy of small format made by Vasarely in his mature period he is capable to reflect his concept of unity between form and color with outstanding precision. When the formal elements are analised, a perfect geometric grid emerges, as a structure that supports color. The aparent chaos reveal its own order. The two dimensional square of the canvas is transformed into a new multi dimensional space through the use of color, through the use of light. The lightness proper to every color gives every form a direction, and at the same time, light make the spectator to percieve volumetric shapes inside this plane grid. The artist is playing with the direction of these different lights, so the volumetric forms articulated inside the grid starts to insinuate changing movement. Is quite hypnothic the effect that the whole composition reveals. With the focus of the main light at the center of the sqared grid, the eye tends to react to the color stimule, jumping from to one color to another. The changing alignment of the romboid forms sorted in lines give the eye different directions, effect that is increased by the playful use of a determined range of color with diferent amount of light or darkness. Volume moves in a way we humans are not use to see in nature, light behaves in a way that it is unatural, we percieve fake gradients appearing in the degradation of hue and saturation selected by the artist in his sublime selection of colors. The eye starts to fell in front of a new dimension of the space, in a state between curiosity trying to catch the trick behind the illusion and also a state of contemplation, captive inside this multi dimension that emerges from pure rationality.

视觉文化研究 / Research of Visual Culture

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Homework Nº1-B REFERENCES: VASARELY, Victor. Notes for a Manifesto, 1955. In: DANCHEV, Alex (Selected by). 100 Artists’ Manifestos From the Futurists to the Stuckists. The Penguin Group, 2011. p. 327-330. VASARELY, Michèle. Vasarely: The Official Artist Website [online] [Consulted: 10 october 2012] Victor Vasarely [online] [Consulted: 10 october 2012] Masterworks Fine Art. Victor Vasarely, Leader of the Op Art Movement [online] [Consulted: 10 october 2012] Wikipedia. Victor Vasarely [online] [Consulted: 10 october 2012] Galerie Michelle Champetier. Victor Vasarely [online] [Consulted: 11 october 2012]

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USTB AD Research of Visual Culture 01B  

视觉文化研究 / 周雯老师 / 作业01B号 • Research of Visual Culture / Professor Wen Zhou / Homework 01B • 2012年10月16日