Estimate: £100,000 - £150,000
ca. US$161,267 - US$241,900
Price realised: £157,250
Victor Vasarely Cassiopée II NB 1958 Acrylic on canvas. 195 × 130 cm (76 4/5 x 51 1/5 in). Signed 'Vasarely' lower right; signed, titled and dated 'Vasarely Cassiopée II NB 1958' on reverse. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Provenance Galeria Siete Siete, Caracas Exhibited Montevideo, Museo de Arte Moderno, Victor Vasarely 1958; Buenos Aires, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Victor Vasarely 1958; Caracas, Museo de Bellas Artes, Victor Vasarely 1959; Paris, Galerie Le Point Cardinal, Victor Vasarely 1961; Naples Museum of Art, Florida, Victor Vasarely Founder of Op-Art Retrospective, 2004 · Literature Robert C. Morgan, Vasarely , New York, 2004, plate no. 28, n.p. (illustrated) Catalogue Essay Victor Vasarely is known, along with Bridget Riley as a leading practitioner of Op art. He created the current lot Cassiopée II in 1958, during his so-called Black & White period, which defined what was later to be known as Op art. The work is an outstanding example of his work at that time, a period when the artist established his binary concept, the Alphabet Plastique, as a visual language for the arts. The integration of the spectator into the work by interactively creating an illusion of movement on the flat surface, is laying the foundation for his trademark style that we now associate with him. Playing with optical illusions, he relied on the perception of the viewer who was considered the sole creator. In 1955, the Denise René Gallery put on the pioneering show of kinetic art, Le Movement, at which Vasarely exhibited, along with Calder, Duchamp, Man Ray, Soto and Tinguely. At the same time, he published his ‘Yellow Manifesto' in which he returned to the teachings of his Bauhaus training to outline his concept of plastic kinetics. For the artist, "painting and sculpture become anachronistic terms: it's more exact to speak of bi-, tri- and multidimensional plastic art. We no longer have distinct manifestations of a creative sensibility, but the development of a single plastic sensibility in different spaces." "Movement does not rely on composition nor a specific subject, but on the apprehension of the act of looking, which by itself is considered as the only creator." The painting presents our eyes with contradictory data as we read part of the field in terms of diagonals and other parts in terms of horizontals and verticals. The painting practically forces us to move backwards and forwards and as we do so, the field appears to move – expanding, contracting and undulating. The foundations for the Op art movement had been laid. As Vasarely stated: "I am certain to recognise the internal geometry of nature." What Vasarely in effect created was an art programming language that allowed for endless permutations of forms and colours to create individual and unique works. With the Folklore Planetaire series Vasarely wanted to reach out through his universal language to transmit basic human values to the general public outside of the art establishment.What Vasarely in effect created was an art programming language that allowed for endless permutations of forms and colours to create individual and unique works. With the Folklore Planetaire series Vasarely wanted to reach out through his universal language to transmit basic human values to the general public outside of the art establishment. Read More
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