The Vasarely method
Plastic unity creates the optical illusions at the center of Vasarely’s geometric poetry.
Victor Vasarely (1906-1997), P. 1093 Bios, acrylic on canvas, dated 1979-1982, 190 x 190 cm.
Victor Vasarely was obsessed with lines since he was a child. The shapes he associated with each other by affinity were seashells or flowers, which he already arranged in such a way as to create a shading of colours, or, conversely, by seeking their opposition. He came to painting through drawing. Vasarely deepened the method of his early years with his experiments, focusing on optical effects. In 1948, new visual horizons opened up to him when he discovered southern villages of France drenched in sunshine, so intense that he transformed reality into a geometrical abstraction of shadow and light. Studying distortions of perspective and the interplay between form and substance led him to become interested in kinetics. His methodical works create visual stimuli which were behind a "new, moving beauty”—moving in both senses of the word—announced in his 1955 Manifeste jaune (Yellow Manifesto) and theorised by his plastic alphabet, perfectly illustrated by this painting. He inscribed a simple geometric shape in a square background with ultramarine and cobalt violet nuances, chosen from his six favourite colours.