Prima data cand am vazut o expozitie de pictura cu opere suprarealiste am ras. Nu mai stiu prin ce an era, cred ca dupa 66. Era o expozitie de arta engleza, la Sala Dalles. Cat e sala de mare erau nenumarate tablouri care mi s-au parut unul mai hazliu decat altul. Imi amintesc ca unul se intitula "Vaci la pascut" sau cam asa ceva dar nu se vedea nici o vaca, probabil plecasera acasa.
In schimb mergeam cu multa placere la Muzeul de arta de la Palatul regal, sau la Aman, sau la Zambaccian, mai tarziu la atat de inaptul (pt ca exponatele erau inghesuite si nu se puteau pune in valoare) Muzeu al Colectiilor unde exilase nea Ceasca tot ce fusese donat statului si se afla in vilele originale pt a permite partidului sa folosesca "eficient" acele vile.
Imi placeau operele figurative, fie ele opere de maestri clasici sau impresionisti. N-am inteles niciodata cubismul decat ca experienta, nu ca valoare artistica, iar suprarealismul nu-mi spunea mare lucru. Dar intr-o zi am aflat ca la sala de pe str Dr Kalinderu s-a deschis o expozitie de reproduceri de arta moderna. Am cautat str respectiva acolo unde am vazut pe harta ca sunt multe strazi cu nume de doctori, adica pe langa Facultatea de Medicina. Am intrebat toti trecatorii, nimeni nu auzise de o strada cu asemenea nume.
Pt ca fetele deja obosisera am decis sa mergem la muzeul de la palat. Si in drum surprise, surprise, pe o straduta din spatele restaurantului cu autoservire era mare afisul cu expozitia cautata.
Sala era mica dar posterele erau de mari dimensiuni. Am remarcat tablourile lui Paul Klee, dar cred ca acolo am vazut prima data ceva de Vasarely si m-au vrajit iluziile optice create cu atat talent. Pe net am gasit peste 200 reproduceri, m-am decis cu greu sa aleg doar cateva din ele pentru articolul anterior, am si pierdut doua incarcate la redactare, cand am incercat sa pun si numele, acolo unde exista, pt ca numele tablourilor sunt stranii.
Ulterior am mai vazut o expozitie la Dalles si cu tablouri suprarealiste, din Cehoslovacia de data asta, si n-am mai ras, dimpotriva, mi-au placut. Iar compozitiile solare ale lui Ovidiu Maitec le-as revedea cu placere oricand.
Din situl oficial al lui Vasarely am copiat urmatoarele:
Vasarely is widely regarded as the father of Op-Art. He is a major master of 20th century art. His paintings are in the permanent collections of many important museums around the world.
During the 1960’s and 70’s his optical images became part of the popular culture, having a deep impact on architecture, computer science, fashion, and the way we now look at things in general. Even though he achieved great fame he insisted on making his art accessible to everyone. His motto was “Art for all”.
The breakthrough brought by his “kinetic” visual experiments transformed the flat surface into a world of unending possibilities, book marking an era in the history of art and foreshadowing a new global reality shaped by programming and the Internet.
Vasarely este recunoscut ca parintele Op Art. Este un maestru de valoare al artei secolului XX. Picturile lui se afla in colectii permanente din importante muzee ale lumii. Intre 1960 si 1970 imaginile sale optice au devenit parte a culturii populare, avand o influienta puternica in arhitectura, stiinta computerelor, moda si felul in care privim lucrurile in general. Chiar si dupa ce a devenit f faimos a insistat ca arta lui sa fie accesibila pt oricine. Mottoul lui era "Arta pt toti".
Noutatea adusa de experimentele sale vizuale "cinetice" a transformat suprafata plata intr-o lume de posibilitati nesfarsite, marcand o era in istoria artei si prefigurand o noua realitate globala ce a luat forma programarii si a Internetului.
The Inventor of Op-Art
French painter of Hungarian descent (Pécs 1906 - Paris 1997)
Victor Vasarely defined one of the most remarkable moments in the history of 20th century art. Having achieved great fame and notoriety during his lifetime, he remains one of the pillars of contemporary art for having lead abstract geometric painting into its extraordinary culmination under the name of "kineticism". His entire creation is characterized by great coherence, from the evolution of his early graphic art to his determination to promote a social art, available to all.
Pictor francez de origine maghiara (Pecs 1906-Paris 1997) Victor Vasarely a marcat unul din momentele cele mai remarcabile ale istoriei artei in secolul XX. Ajuns la mare faima si notorietate in timpul vietii, el ramane unul din stalpii artei contemporane pt ca a adus pictura abstracta geometrica la o culme extraordinara cu numele de "kineticism". Intreaga lui creatie e caracterizata prin mare coerenta, de la evolutia artei sale grafice timpurii pana la determinarea de a promova o arta sociala, accesibila tuturor.
Victor Vasarely was born in Pécs, Hungary, in 1906. In 1925, after obtaining his bachelor’s degree, he briefly undertook medical studies at the Budapest University, which he abandoned two years later, heeding the call of his true vocation. From this period, even though short lived, he will forever keep a strict sense of method, objectivity, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, remaining inextricably bonded to the quest of scientific discovery.
VV s-a nascut laPecs, Ungaria in 1906. In 1925, dupa ce si-a luat bacalaureatul a studiat putin timp medicina la Universitatea din Budapesta, dar a abandonat dupa 2 ani, pt a se dedica adevaratei sale vocatii. Din acea perioada, desi f scurta, va capata pt totdeauna un sens strict al metodei, obiectivitatii, si o sete de nestins pt cunoastere, ramanand inextricabil legat de cautarea descoperirilor stiintifice.
In 1929, he enrolled at Mühely, then widely recognized as the center of Bauhaus studies in Budapest. This school had been created by Alexandre Bortnyik, following the principles of the Bauhaus School of Dessau, with the mission of spreading the teachings already disseminated throughout Germany by artists and intellectuals such as Walter Gropius, Wasssily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Josef Albers.
In 1929 a intrat la Muhely, pe atunci larg recunoscut ca centru de studii Bauhaus in Budapesta. Aceasta scoala a fost creata de Alexandr Bortnyik, urmand principiile Scolii Bauhaus din Dessau, cu misiunea de a raspandi invataturile deja diseminate in Germania de artisti ca Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee si Josef Albers.
Bauhaus thought had an enormous impact in Vasarely’s work, leaving an indelible mark in his creation up until the end. It was during this period that he initiated himself into the tendencies of constructivism and discovered Abstract Art. It was then that he painted his famous "Blue Study" and "Green Study" (1929), and at the same time adhered to the concept of promulgating a less individualistic art, a communal art adapted to the mutations of the modern industrial world.
Gandirea Bauhaus a avut un enorm impact in opera luiVasarely, lasand o marca de nesters in creatia sa pana la sfarsit. In aceasta perioada s-a initiat in constructivism si a descoperit Arta Abstracta. Atunci a pictat faimoasele sale "Studiu in Albgastru" si "Studiu in Verde" (1929) si in acelasi timp a aderat la conceptul de a promulga o arta mai putin individualista, o arta comunala adaptata la mutatiile lumii moderne industriale.
Vasarely left Hungary and settled in Paris in 1930. He began working as a creative consultant and graphic artist at the Havas advertising agency, and at Draeger, the most renowned printer in Paris at the time.
Vasarely a parasit Ungaria si s-a stabilit la Paris in 1930. A inceput sa lucreze ca un consultant creativ si artist grafic la agentiade publicitate Havas si la Draeger, cel mai renumit pictor in Parisul acelui timp.
During this early "GRAPHIC" period (1929-1946), Vasarely laid out the esthetic foundation of his plastic research and "the basic repertoire" of his "period of kinetic abstraction on the spatial plane". He exploits all the themes that were reformulated much later: the handling of the line, textural effects, interactions of shadow and light, and already a very particular attraction to perspective.
In aceasta perioada de "GRAFICA" timpurie (1929-1946) Vasarely pus bazele fundatiei estetice a cercetarii sale plastice si "repertoriul de baza" al perioadei sale de "abstractie kinetica in planul spatial". A exploatat toate temele ce au fost reformulate mai tarziu: trasarea liniei, efectele texturale, interactiunea dintre umbra si lumina, si deja o f speciala atractie spre perspectiva.
We find these constants in his graphic studies in two dimensions such as The Zebras (1938), Chess Board (1935), and Girl-Flower (1934) where the shapes are not actually outlined but suggested by deformed grills or weavings of juxtaposed contrasts.
Gasim aceste constante in studiile grafice bidimensionale ca Zebrele (1938), Tabla de Sah (1935) si Fata_floare (1934) unde formele nu sunt de fapt trasate ci sugerate prin grile deformate sau intreteserea de contraste juxtapuse.
Between 1935 and 1947, Vasarely rediscovered painting. During this period, which he would later refer to as "my false routes", influenced by the major plastic movements at the time, particularly cubism and surrealism, Vasarely focused on the still life genre, landscapes, and portraiture.
Intre 1935 si 1947 VV a redescoperit pictura. Inaceastaperiaoda,la care se va referi mai tarziu ca "falsele mele cai" influientat de miscarile plastice majore ale timpului,inspecialde cubism si suprarealism, VV s-a concentrat pe genul natura moarta, peisaje si portretistica.
The paintings made during this period, Self Portrait (1941), The Blind Man (1946), although definitively figurative, show a certain evolution towards a simplification and schematization of the object.
Picturile facute in aceasta perioada, Autoportret (1941),Orbul(1946), desi categoric figurative, arata o anumita evolutie spre simplificarea si schematizarea obiectului.
Then Vasarely had a true revelation: "pure form and pure color can signify the world...".
Apoi VV a avut o adevarata revelatie: "forma pura si culoarea pura pot reprezenta lumea..."
The vacations that the artist would spend at Belle-Isle and at Gordes, would be of great importance:
Vacantele pe care artistul le va petrece la Belle-Isle si Gordes vor avea mare importanta.
"Belle-Isle, summer 1947. The pebbles, the sea shells on the beach, the whirlpools, the hovering mist, the sunshine, the sky...in the rocks, in the pieces of broken bottles, polished by the rhythmic coming and going of the waves, I am certain to recognize the internal geometry of nature..."
"Belle-Isle,vara lui 1947. Pietricelele, scoicile de pe plaja, vartejurile, ceata invaluitoare, lumina soarelui, cerul...in pietre, in cioburile de sticla, slefuite de ritmicul dute-vino al valurilor, sunt sigur ca am recunoscut geometria interna a naturii..."
The works of the "BELLE-ISLE" period (1947-1958) marked the debut of an abstraction watershed for Vasarely, a stroke of genius, one that would allow the transformation of rough natural material into abstract material. It also marked a return to nature by the utilization of the geometrical form, the oval form in particular, which represented "the oceanic sentiment".
Sorry, dar am obosit si renunt sa mai traduc. Cu tot respectul pt lunga lui viata si vasta sa creatie am sa las engleza sa-i spuna mai departe istoria.
Between 1948 and 1951, two new periods appeared, taking even further the ideas already exposed in Belle-Isle. From the "DENFERT" period (1951-1958) emerged the curious drawings of the cracked white tiled walls of the Denfert-Rochereau metro station in Paris. The alternation of backgrounds and forms, the enmeshing of the sun splashed or shadow blurred walls and the spaces between these walls, correspond to the origin of the "CRISTAL -GORDES" period (1948-1958). In the studies from these periods, forms are juxtaposed in beaches of contrasting colors on a flat surface.
Vasarely rediscovers the contradictory perspectives of axonometry, the power of pure composition. The most representative work of this period is "Homage to Malevitch" (1952-1958), which marks the turn towards kineticism. In this painting the square has been turned on its axis and transformed into a rhombus, thus creating a visual principle that would always remain at the center of the artist’s kinetic research. In 1954, Vasarely returns to this homage for the construction of his first architectural integration at the University of Caracas, Venezuela, in collaboration with architect Carlos Villanueva.
With the "BLACK & WHITE" period (1950-1965), Vasarely resumes his graphic studies, his work on linear grills, and his undulating deformations. Meanwhile, he explores his interest in photographic techniques creating "photographisms" made from the superposition of two sheets of glass. The "BLACK & WHITE" period marks a fundamental moment in Vasarely’s work, since it is in this two-colored phase where he develops and defines all the basic elements of what would eventually be known as Op-Art, a unique aesthetic and style that would remain forever linked to his name.
In 1955, at the Denise René Gallery in Paris, kinetic art was flourishing. Vasarely and other artists such as Duchamp, Herbin, Man Ray, Calder, and Tinguely exhibited their research on the theme of movement. That same year Vasarely published his "Yellow Manifest", enunciating the notion of "visual kinetics" ("plastique cinétique"), by way of which he resumes the research of constructivist and Bauhaus pioneers: movement does not rely on composition nor on a specific subject, but on the apprehension of the act of looking, which by itself is considered as the only creator.
The principle of optical illusion was first explored in black and white. From a dialectic of geometrical shapes, "two geometrical elements that fit in each other, combining, permutating", emerged a notion of movement and space. From 1960 on, color was added to the formula in the "FOLKLORE PLANETAIRE" period works, which lead to the invention of the "alphabet plastique" (fine arts alphabet).
With the creation of a comprehensive "alphabet plastique" he brought to concretion the idea, born at beginning of the century in the work of the first abstract artists, of creating a universal fine arts language understood by everyone.
This alphabet plastique is the point of departure towards a truly collective art. By playing with its combinations and permutations, an unending number of propositions can be achieved just by rearranging the forms or the color gamut defined by the artist. "The arrival in plastic art of a matrix of such breadth of scope offers a tool of universal character, completely allowing the manifestation of personality and ethnic particularities."
In this matrix the elements can be codified or programmed. Moreover, Vasarely incorporated the significant contributions of new breakthrough techniques and technologies in order to diversify and compose works ad infinitum. Thus, the basic elements could be prefabricated using modern industrial procedures, allowing the works to become monumental pieces integrated into architecture in general and into our contemporary urban environment.
"The future is being laid out with the new geometrical city, polychromatic and solar, where plastic art will be essentially kinetic, multidimensional and communal, totally abstract and closely related to the sciences."
From 1964 to 1976, Vasarely became particularly drawn to cellular structure in a series of works belonging to "Homage to the hexagon" theme, where surfaces were subjected to ceaseless transformations, as much as in the form of indentations as in the form of relief. Ambiguity was further accentuated by adding the element of color variations, thus creating a "perpetual mobile of optical illusion". Vasarely had re-submerged himself into the optical domain he had explored with his "BLACK & WHITE" period. These effects can be observed in the works of the "GESTALT" period.
In 1965, he participated in the "Responsive Eye" exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art, dedicated exclusively to "Optical Art". This pictorial movement attached itself to the concept of suggesting motion without ever actually performing it. It instituted a new relationship between artist and spectator, where the observer cannot remain passive, he is free to interpret the image in as many visual scenarios ha can conceive. Received with great acclaim, the press and the public hailed Vasarely as the inventor and creator of "Op-Art".
Continuing his studies on movement and perception, Vasarely returned to drawing in his "VONAL" period (1964-1970), where he rediscovered his linear work on the theme of the zebras, the grills, and the origins of his black and white period, this time incorporating the element of color. A new kinetic aspect was engendered as well as a new spatial dimension through the repetition of lines decreasing in scale as they approach the center of the painting.
From 1968 on, playing with the deformation of the line, Vasarely defined his "universal structures", and dove into the immensely popular and widely known "VEGA" period, where the swellings induced by the deformation of the elements of composition give the illusion that the forms escape from the flat surface, thus creating his famous spherical volumes. Through works such as "Feny" (1963), "Vega Tek" (1968), and "Vega 200" (1968), the artist attempts to evoke the unattainable universe of galaxies, the gigantic cosmic pulsation, and the biological mutation of cells.
The elaboration of the kinetic work of Victor Vasarely is inseparable from its social context and its urban environment. From the 1950’s on, Vasarely insistently questioned himself about the role of the artist in society and eagerly searched for a way to create a social art, accessible and available to all, a medium of "multiples", works that could be reproduced in series as well as by the means of integrations. "Painting is but a medium, the ultimate goal is to search, to define, to integrate the plastic phenomenon into everyday life."
The creation of the Vasarely Foundation in Aix-en-Provence in 1976 marks the concretion and culmination of his ideas on the integration of art in the city.
In March 15, 1997, he died at the age of 91, leaving behind a plastic legacy unrivaled within the domain of abstract geometrical kinetic art.