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Image for Hungarian French artist Victor Vasarely museum under threat of closure

Hungarian French artist Victor Vasarely museum under threat of closure

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Familial intrigue and encroaching damp may mean the Vasarely Foundation Museum in Aix-en-Provence will have to close. A look at the unique building and some of the artist's work on display in Galerie am Dom in Frankfurt until 5 November

Unique architecture suffering from neglect (Image: ©paulamoya/ Flickr)

The organisation founded in 1976 to promote and protect Victor Vasarely's work has been left penniless. Set amid a large grassland, these white and black architectural cubes contain some of the largest works of the Hungarian-born artist known as the father of Op-Art

Louisiana IV

A petition has been set up to ask the French government to step in and save the landmark building from total decline

Idom 3

Vasarely was born in Hungary in 1906 and died in Paris in 1997. During his lifetime, his works were honoured with a number of awards including the Guggenheim prize, the French Legion of Honor, the art critics prize at Brussels and the gold medal at the Milan triennale

Paintings at the museum

The Op-Art movement is characterised by 2D paintings that give a 3D effect. Vasarely’s identity in the art world was based on his experimentations with optical illusion and the use of line, colour toning and size variation

Permanent exhibition faces closure

Vasarely began a degree in medicine in Budapest before abandoning his studies to pursue his passion for art. He went on to design the official spiral-shaped logo of the Munich Olympic games

Fille Fleur seriograph on paper 1982

Since the artist’s death in Paris in 1997, his estate has been mired in successive controversies dubbed the Vasarely affair (‘l’affaire Vasarely’) and now the new Vasarely affair (‘la nouvelle affaire Vasarely’) by the French press

Grosses kristall 1970

Relatives have made various attempts to acquire personal possession of his art-works. Vasarely's step-mother was arrested for theft in Chicago in 2008 after she was caught moving hundreds of Vasarely’s works from one clandestine storage space to another

Museum Foundation Vasarely (Image: ©watz/Flickr)

Now, it may be the end of the line for the Museum Foundation Vasarely in Aix en Provence. Visitors to the museum have long been noticing the damp and collapsing ceilings that threaten the spectacular building with closure. The petition can be signed here

Tu Pa II 1970

Meanwhile, an exhibition of Vasarely’s work is being shown from 26 September to 5 November 2009 at the Galerie am Dom in Frankfurt, Germany. For more information visit this link