I have had a weakness for the art of Victor Vasarely. It must have been one of my first encounters with Modern Art in the Mid Sixties. In the window of an art dealer in de Hoogstraat in Den Haag there were on display signed serigraphs by Vasarely and since OP Art and Pop Art were popular i took an interest in these Vasarely too. I could not afford them, but found some 20 years later that Vasarely published highly affordable book publications which had the same quality as his prints. I have been collecting and adding Vasarely books and special publications to my collections ever since and yesterday i added another special publication. It is the 1961 Hanover gallery Vasarely catalogue. Not too many pages ( 32) , but what makes this special is the extra silkscreened inlay which can be combinedx together with the first print within the catalogue. My guess is not many of this rare cataloguue will have survived and what makes it even more special is the pristine condition of both silkscreened print and bookpage. Here are the photographs of this special and highly collectible Vasarely catalogue which is now available at www.ftn-books.com
Yesterday we visited the exhibition of Bridget Riley in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. ( the exhibition is till open until the 15th of October 2016).
A fascinating show on the Curved paintings she made from the early sixties until 2014. Paintings which are extremely detailed painted and very well thought out. The sketches and colored cardboard models show the way in which Riley makes these projects from idea into a large canvas. Walking through the exhibition ( yes passing these paintings) shows the effect these patterns have on your eyes. Waves and curves begin to dance before your eyes and show that a still painting can have the effect of movement in your perception. Fascinating to discover this Optical illusion and certainly very effective Op Art . Riley stayed true to this way of painting and did not produce many of these paintings over the years. These paintings take a long time to paint, but when they are ready they are all masterpieces.
Her first solo exhibion she had at the Gallery One in London in 1964, after that she was invited for the Biennale in Venice and het break through exhibition ” The Responsive Eye” in the Museum of Modern Art in 1965.
Her works can be found in Modern Art Museums all over the world, but the Tate modern has the largest collection of them.
Look at the pictures i took at the exhibition and get an impression how she meticulously prepares each new painting. www.ftn-books.com has some nice early Riley titles available including the leperello which was published on the occasion she received the Sikkensprijs in 1992.
It must have been the early 70’s. There was an art dealer in the Hoogstraat in The Hague, who had in his window 2 silkscreen prints by Vasarely. I thought them wonderful, but lost interest in them because the edition size was 100 numbered /signed copies. At that moment i never had heard of art published in an edition. Nowadays it is common practice. Artists make a living out of these editions and people can purchase an affordable original piece of art. I should have bought them at that time, but time passes and one forgets about these. All of Vasarely’s works are practically forgotten in the 3 decades to follow, but now in the present days, Vasarely works are sought after and well worth collecting…even the one’s which are published in editions of over 100 copies.
Vasarely has become one of the leading artists from the Geometric Abstract art/ optical art movement and the interest in his works is well deserved. With a highly original point of view and approach to Modern Art he has made many beautiful and impressive works of art and you can encounter them in all the large museums of the world.
When you travel Budapest do not forget to visit the Vasarely museum on the outskirts of this town. ( half an hour by tram ). It is not a museum as we nowadays have grown used to, but the art by Vasarely within this “basic” Museum is fantastic and the best OP ART you will seen gathered within one place .
It even has in a showcase one of the Kriwin catalogues which is depicted below.
It is nice to know that the Vasarely catalogue published by the Stedelijk Museum has on the backside of the cover an original relief print in black and white. (above)
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20