In the Labyrinth of Modernism
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
– 13 January 2019
Victor Vasarely (1906–1997) was a French painter and graphic artist who emigrated from Hungary to Paris in the 1930s. He is one of the co-founders of Op Art and also played a central role in French post-war art. His inspiration came, among other things, from the teachings of the Bauhaus in the 1920s.
The exhibition, “Victor Vasarely. In the Labyrinth of Modernism”, at Frankfurt’s Städel Museum encompasses six decades of his creative output. Jana Baumann, curator of the exhibition, describes Vasarely as “one of the best-known unknowns”, who is also an artist of the century, because his work over a period of more than 60 years ranges from high culture to mass culture.
In this current special exhibition, the Städel presents a retrospective of Victor Vasarely using over a hundred works. Among the central pieces of his early creative phase are “Hommage au carré” (1929), “Self Portrait” (1944) and “Zebras” (1937), but most famous are his Op Art works. Op Art describes a visual art movement of the 1960s that uses abstract patterns and geometric forms and often plays with dizzying optical effects or deceptions.
Vasarely’s career reached its pinnacle in the 1970s. In addition to his works of art, he also created the logo for Renault and the Olympic Games in Munich. Together with his son Yvaral, he also designed the dining hall of the Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt/Main – which is also the starting point of the exhibition which aims to tell the artist’s story retrospectively. Vasarely’s work was primarily concerned with the relationship between man and matter; in his works he plays with the viewer’s perception and wants him to become part of the work of art.
In the Museum’s Digitorialyou will find free videos, images and articles to prepare for the exhibition and which provide an insight into Victor Vasarely’s art.