Victor Vasarely (born Vasarely Gyozo) (Hungarian / French, 1906 – 1997) was a major European artist who was a foundational figure in the Op Art and Kinetic Art movements. Inspired by the abstraction of an earlier generation of artists, Vasarely took geometric forms and used optical illusions to create works of art that appear to move, though they are completely stationary and two dimensional objects. A major modern master, his works are found in great museums around the world, such as the Guggenheim in New York City, the Tate in London, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.


Born in the Hungarian city of Pecs in 1906, Victor Vasarely studied at the Hungarian equivalent of the Bauhaus, the Muhely Academy in Budapest. The Muhely (which means “Workshop” in Hungarian) was founded by Hungarian artist Sandor Bortnyik to serve as a school of revolutionary graphic design. This school and its modern curriculum attracted young students like Vasarely, who became a graphic designer at the Muhely. Vasarely then moved to Paris in 1930. It was in Paris, the artistic center of the early and mid 20th century, that Vasarely made the jump from a commercial artist and graphic designer to a fine artist, and began making paintings and prints for exhibition. Vasarely would live in Paris for the rest of his life, dying there in 1997.

Portrait of Victor Vasarely, ca. 1930
Portrait of Victor Vasarely. Ca. 1930. Wikimedia Commons.

Vasarely’s Style

Vasarely’s paintings and prints focus on geometric shapes and forms, like circles and squares, lines and colors. His work is abstract, meaning that nothing representational is shown: we do not see a landscape, a portrait, or a bowl of fruit, but rather geometric shapes and bright colors. While often criticized by some for being overly simple, abstract paintings actually have an impressive theoretical backing. 

Victor Vasarely, "Enigma: / Four Globes in Red" Serigraph
Victor Vasarely, "Enigma: Four Globes In Red". Serigraph on Paper. 1980.

As lines, shapes, and colors are universally recognized, abstract artworks like those of Vasarely are universally accessible. A circle is a circle to everyone, and red is always red. Vasarely also, however, sought to create optical effects in his works of art. He tried to depict three-dimensional space and movement on a static, two-dimension canvas or sheet of paper. In this regard, Vasarely was quite successful, as he made artworks that seem to move as you look at them, pulsating or turning.

Victor Vasarely Print
Victor Vasarely, "Op Art". Serigraph on Paper. 20th Cent.

Selling Vasarely with Nest Egg Auctions

Nest Egg Auctions has sold two prints by Victor Vasarely. Both utilize geometric shapes and bright colors arranged to create the illusion of movement. They are works of art that one enters into, and engage the viewer as they gaze into them. They appear mathematical, or perhaps even like something out of a science fiction movie or a parallel dimension. The universality of these two prints, likewise, translated into good sale prices for both pieces.

Nest Egg Auctions is always excited to sell works by Victor Vasarely and other modern abstract artists. We understand the importance of these works, and respect the forward-thinking of the artists who made them. If you have a work by Vasarely or another abstract artist, we would be happy to see it! Please send us a photo of your work, and we would be happy to discuss it further with you.