A retrospective exhibition by Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely began on Feb. 2 in Istanbul’s Tophane-i Amire Culture and Arts Center with the contributions of Arkas Holding.
Vasarely is renowned as the “grandfather” and leader of the op art movement, a style of visual art that uses optical illusions.
Professor Yalçın Karayağız from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (MSGSU), which is hosting the exhibition, told state-run Anadolu Agency that the artist became prominent in Turkey’s academic circles in the 1980s.
“Methods that he used require serious mathematical solutions. And you unite it with physics and optical illusion. I mean everything you see as a circle is actually made up of cubes,” Karayağız said.
H noted that Vasarely’s art was the continuation of Bauhaus arts.
“Bauhaus is widely known and has been accepted in our institution, especially in the basic art education. Unfortunately, Vasarely was forgotten in art circles toward the 1990s. The Vasarely Foundation was revived thanks to the artist’s son. The Hungarian and French
governments began to embrace him. He was already an important figure, but now he got what he deserved. It is for the first time that the works of such an important artist is coming to Istanbul and meeting art lovers and students. This is a retrospective exhibition displaying works collected from three countries. This is why it is special and a privilege for us,” he said. Istanbul and İzmir shows
Niko Filidis, Arkas Art Unit’s director and the project coordinator of the exhibition, said the exhibition was a multi-participant one.
“They are the works of a single person but sources are various. For example, the Renault Collection, Victor Vasarely Foundation, Victor Vasarely Museum, Budapest Fine Arts Museum and the birthplace of Vasarely, Pecs Museum, provided us the artworks,” he said.
Filidis said they gathered the artworks for the exhibition in one and a half years.
“The coordination was difficult but we did it. Vasarely united geometry with visuality and it reached an amazing point. Also, he did his best to make this art popular. We don’t have them in this exhibition but the artist has lots of serigraphs. Here our goal is to display the exhibition both in Istanbul and İzmir for two months and introduce people a non-figurative art,” he said.
He stressed that geometry was an inevitable part of life. “Geometry always exists in architecture and nature. It is a form. If we improve geometry and add color to it, we get a visual feast,” he said.
The Victor Vasarely Retrospective exhibition can be seen through March 31.