Hungarian French artist Victor Vasarely museum under threat of closure
October 5, 2009
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
The organisation founded in 1976 to promote and
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
A petition has been set up
to ask the French government to step in and save the landmark building
from total decline
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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