Inspired by the innovative use of color in Bauhaus art, Hungarian painter Victor Vasarely (1906-1997) developed his own abstract-geometric visual language, exploring the relationship between pure form and pure color. Vasarely`s experimentation with optical effects in the 1940s and 50s earned him a central role in the evolution of Op Art. By the late 50s and early 60s, he concentrated on the "democratization of art" by no longer producing his works as expensive originals but in large editions of affordable screen prints; this attempt to redefine the position and function of the artist in society was an important first step in the Pop Art movement. Vasarely`s boldly colorful and eye-popping paintings are instantly recognizable and remain entirely modern and relevant today.
Magdalena Holzhey studied art history, Italian, and musicology in Berlin and Pisa. She has held academic and curatorial positions in galleries and museums, including the K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf. She has published on classical modernism and contemporary art and is currently preparing a dissertation on Joseph Beuys.
About the series
Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Art series features:
a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance
a concise biography
approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions