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ARTIST NAME: Victor Vasarely

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Victor Vasarely Biography:

1906   Born April 9 in Pécs, Hungary
1925 - 1927   Studies medicine at the University of Budapest. Although he decides to abandon his medical studies after two years, scientific methodology and objectivity should later influence his approach to art.
1927 - 1929   Studies art at the Podolini-Volkmann Academy in Budapest.
1929   Enrols at Alexander Bortnyik’s Mühely Academy, widely recognised as the centre of Bauhaus studies in Budapest.
1930 - 1934   Moves to Paris, where he works as a graphic artist for various agencies, including Havas, and for the renowned printer Draeger. Begins his Zebra studies and engages in his first optical experiments. Marries Claire Spinner in 1931. Their first child André is born the same year. A second son, Jean-Pierre, is born in 1934.
1935 - 1945   Assembles an important body of graphic works , developing the aesthetic foundations for his plastic language. In 1944, inaugurates the Galerie Denise René in Paris with a solo-exhibition, and in 1945, participates for the first time in the Salon des Surindépendants.
1946 - 1950   Moves decidedly towards Constructivist and geometric abstract art, inspired by artists such as Malevitch, Moholy-Nagy and Walter Gropius. His vacations at Gordes and Belle-Isle from 1947 onwards play an important role in inspiring this shift away from figurative representation. Publishes his first edition of prints. Exhibits at the Salon des Surindépendants (1946), the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles (1947) and Galerie Denis René in Paris (1948).
1951 - 1959   Works predominantly in black and white. Develops and defines the visual elements of Op Art, the movement with which his name has become inextricably linked. In 1955 publishes his Yellow Manifesto and receives the Critics Award in Brussels and the Gold Medal at the Milan Triennial. Completes a series of murals for the University of Caracas in Venezuela, as well as several architectural integrations such as Hommage à Malevitch. Participates in numerous exhibitions such as Le Mouvement at the Galerie Denise René (1955), 50 Ans d’Art Moderne at the Palais International des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (1958), and Inaugural Selection at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (1959). Has solo exhibitions at the Buenos Aires and Caracas museums of art (1958/59) and at Galerie Der Spiegel in Cologne (1959).
1960 - 1965   Receives the International Guggenheim Award in New York (1964), the Grand Prix de la Gravure in Ljubljana in Slovenia (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 in Paris (1965). Participates in many group exhibitions, incuding Documenta III in Kassel, Germany (1964) and, most notably, The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1965). Also has numerous solo exhibitions, including shows at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (1963), the Pace Gallery in New York (1964), the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (1965) and the Kunsthalle in Bern in Switzerland (1965).
1966 - 1970   Completes several architectural projects, including one for the French pavilion at the World Expo in Montreal (1967). Also completes two films Les Multiples and Précinetisme. Interviews of the artist by Jean-Louis Ferrier are published. Awarded Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur (1970). Numerous group exhibitions, among them Lumière et Mouvement at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris (1967) and 10 Ans d’Art vivant, 1955-65 at the Fondation Maeght (1968) in Saint Paul-de-Vence in France, as well as solo exhibitions at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York (1966 and 1968), Galerie Denise René in Paris (1969) and the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest (1969).
1971 - 1975   Inauguration of the Vasarely Museum in Gordes in France (1971). Publishes the four volumes of Plasti-cité and receives the International Art Book Award for two of the volumes in 1971 and 1975. Solo exhibitions at the Galerie Denise René (1972) and Sidney Jannis Gallery (1972). Designs the set for the Racine Opera Bérenice, performed in Hungary.
1976 - 1982   Inauguration of the Vasarely Foundation in Aix-en-Provence (1976) and the Vasarely Museum in his hometown of Pécs (1978). Solo exhibitions at the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art (1977) and the Phoenix Art Museum (1979). Creates 154 prints that are transported into space aboard the Soyuz 7 by a French-Soviet team of cosmonauts .
1983 - 1990   Named Honorary Citizen of the City of New York and delivers a series of lectures in the United States. In France, Vasarely is named 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 (1987).
1997   Dies March 15 in Paris.
2006   The Expanded Eye, Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland
2005   The Kinetic Eye: Optical and Kinetic Art, 1950-1975, 13 May – 25 September, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Strasbourg, France
2005   Victor Vasarely in black and white, Robert Sandelson, London
2004   Victor Vasarely: Black and White paintings from 1950s, 16 October – 13 November 2004, Robert Miller Gallery, New York
2004   Victor Vasarely: Founder of Op Art, Naples Museum of Art, Naples, Florida
2004   Victor Vasarely – Parcours 1930-1980, La Fondation Demeures du Nord, Lille
2003   Victor Vasarely, Robert Sandelson, London
2001   Vasarely Inconnu, Palais Bénédictine, Fécamp
2000   Vasarely, Fundacion Juan March, Madrid, Spain
1998   Vasarely – Geometrie, Abstraktion, Rhythmus. Die Fünfziger Jahre, Ulmer Museum, Ulm
1997 - 1998   Vasarely – Erfinder der Op-Art, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen, Kunstverein Wolfsburg and Joseph Albers Museum, Bottrop
1996 - 1997   Vasarely: Hommages, Musée Communal des Beaux-Arts, Charleroi and Fondation Vasarely, Aix-en-Provence
1995   Victor Vasarely – 50 Years of Creation, Musée Olympique, Lausanne
1992   Le Mouvement, Fondation Maeght, St-Paul-de-Vence
1992   Retrospective, Kunstforum Vienna, Austria
1987   Vasarely, Esterhazy Castle, Eisenstadt
1987   Victor Vasarely, Okresné Museum, Prague
1986   Vasarely, National Museum of Fine Arts, Algiers
1986   Galerie der Stadt Esslingen am Neckar, Germany
1980   The Art Of Victor Vasarely, Midland Center of Arts, Midland, Michigan
1979   The Optic Art of Vasarely, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
1977   Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas
1975   Cultural Centre, Modena, Italy
1972   Exposition de sérigraphies et de multiples, Philadelphia Art Museum
1972   Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
1972   Galerie Denise René, Paris
1970   From Renoir to Vasarely, Salon d’Automne, Grand-Palais, Paris
1969   Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary
1969   Folklore Planétaire, Galerie Denis René, Paris
1968   Vasarely, Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
1968   10 Ans d’Art Vivant, 1955-65, Fondation Maeght, St Paul-de-Vence, France
1967   Lumière et Mouvement, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris
1967   Multiples, Galerie Denise René, Paris
1966   Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
1965   The Responsive Eye, Museum of Modern Art, New York
1965   Kunsthalle, Berne, Switzerland
1964   Documenta III, Kassel, Germany
1964   Vasarely et l’Art Social, Académie des Beaux-Arts, Paris
1964   Pace Gallery, New York
1963   L'Unite Plastique, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
1963   Taft Museum, Cincinatti
1959   Galerie Der Spiegel, Cologne
1959   Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas
1959   Inaugural Selection, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
1958   50 Ans d’Art Moderne, Palais International des Beaux-Arts,Brussels
1958   Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires
1955   Le Mouvement, Galerie Denise René, Paris
1955   Galerie Der Spiegel, Cologne
1955   Palais de Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles; APIAW, Liege
1950   Galerie Arne Bruun Rasmussen, Copenhague
1948   Tendences de l’Art Abstrait, Galerie Denise René, Paris
1944   Galerie Denise René, Paris
1930   Galerie Kovacs Akos, Budapest

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