Shrill colors and quirky patterns characterized the living culture of the 1970s. With the special exhibition "Op, Pop, Top! Wallpapers of the 70s", the Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel is currently reviving the colorful decade at Schloss Wilhelmshöhe.
The exhibition title "Op, Pop, Top" says it all: art trends such as Op or Pop Art, which were strongly represented at Documenta 4 in 1968, had a significant influence on wallpaper design and on many design ideas of this decade in general. Not least, these styles go back to artists like Victor Vasarely. But who was Victor Vasarely?
Vasarely was a Hungarian-French artist widely considered the founder of the Op Art movement. He studied at the Podolini-Volkmann Academy in Budapest and later at the Mühely Graphic School, directed by Sándor Bortnyik, in the Bauhaus tradition. In 1930 he moved to Paris, where he worked as a commercial artist between 1930 and 1940, designing mainly posters.
In 1944 he devoted himself exclusively to painting, exhibiting for the first time at the Galerie Denise René in Paris. His work is characterized by geometric shapes and optical illusions to create patterns that seem to move or change when viewed from different angles.
In the 1950s, he formulated his concept of kinetic art. In his Yellow Manifesto (Manifest Jaune) for the group exhibition Le Mouvement at Denise René (1955), he invoked the work of art as a prototype. He called for an artistic movement that expressed itself beyond art through repetitiveness and adaptation of its forms. These requirements were met by himself: The aggressive interplay of basic shapes and tones, combined in various ways to form patterns, is characteristic of his work today. From 1961 he lived in Annet-sur-Marne.
Victor Vasarely won several international art awards in 1965 and 1967. He exhibited at Documenta I (1955), Documenta II (1959), Documenta III (1964), and at the fourth Documenta in Kassel in 1968. He was one of the first artists to use Op Art and is known for creating a new diamond logo in Op Art design for the Renault automobile company in 1972.
Victor Vasarely went on to win many awards, including the Guggenheim Prize in New York in 1964, and in 1970 he was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor.
Vasarely's work had a significant influence on the development of Op Art in the 1960s, and he is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
Op Art, short for visual art, is a form of abstract art that uses geometric shapes and optical illusions to create patterns that appear to move or change when viewed from different angles. The movement began in the 1960s and was influenced by artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. Op art often uses contrasting colors and shapes to create the illusion of movement. The viewer's eyes are tricked into seeing action where none or patterns change when viewed from different angles.
The Vega series is significant because it marks a new direction in Vasarely's work. He experimented with three-dimensional forms and perspectives, creating works that seem to move or change when viewed from different angles. This series is considered one of his most important and influential works.