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Auction Name: 2021 May 13 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction - Dallas

Lot Number: 77047

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Victor Vasarely (1906-1997)
CHOKK, 1976
Acrylic on canvas
81 x 75 inches (205.7 x 190.5 cm)
Signed lower right: Vasarely-
Signed, dated, titled, and inscribed on the reverse: P.954 / Vasarely- / "CHOKK" / 205 x 190 / 1976 / Vasarely

Private collection, New Rochelle, New York.

Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Carcas Zona Cultural, Venezuela, October 1977;
The Midland Art Council of the Midland Center for the Arts, Inc., Michigan.

The authenticity of the present work has been confirmed by Pierre Vasarely. The work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné de l'Oeuvre Peint de Victor Vasarely, which is currently being compiled by the Fondation Vasarely, Aix-en-Provence.

Victor Vasarely was a founding member of the Op Art movement, characterized by its playfulness through optical illusion and hyper-stylized geometric shapes. Vasarely experimented with these techniques over a variety of different mediums, including paintings and sculptures. His use of Cubist, Futurist, and Surrealist aesthetics stemmed from his background as both an art history student and a professional graphic designer.

The present work, CHOKK, was exhibited in Caracas the year after its creation because of the close friendship between the artist and two important leaders in the Venezuelan art community: modernist architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva and Sofía Ímber, founder of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas. The three first met in 1950s when Villanueva was designing the Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas. Vasarely was inspired by Villanueva's desire to integrate art and architecture and went on to make three works for the University's open-air museum, one of them titled "Sofia" after Sofía Ímber. In 1974, Ímber opened the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo and worked closely with Vasarely on his eponymous show there in 1977, where CHOKK was a highlight.

CHOKK is an updated version of Vasarely's iconic technique of repeating geometric shapes, or "units," as the artist called them, in varying colors and arrangements. Depending upon their particular configuration and color combination, the units here simulate tunnels, mazes, dice, origami "fortune tellers," sound waves, stacked boxes, hypnosis wheels, and Slinky toys. The massive size of the canvas and shifting 2D-3D appearance of each unit distort and unsettle the viewer's perception of form and space in a way that is wholly characteristic of Vasarely's artistic practice. As the artist once famously quipped, "Does not aggressing the retina in fact make it vibrate?"

Condition Report*: Unlined canvas. There does not appear to be any areas of inpaint. Mild beveling to the canvas to the corners and edges of the stretcher bars; two 3" scratches to the blue areas near the lower extreme edge; scattered scuffs and smudges to the extreme edges in the blue; mild to moderate scattered areas of surface soiling; 1" round stain to the upper left near the edge.
Framed Dimensions 81.5 X 75.5 Inches
*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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