Just steps away from the city centre of Aix-en-Provence stands a building with an atypical cachet entirely imagined and designed by the artist Victor Vasarely to expose his own creations. Made up of 16 hexagonal cells and illuminated by the large glass canopies filtering the sun’s rays, the Vasarely Foundation presents 44 oversized works integrated into the facades and internal walls of the structure. Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of the father of optical art after your French classes!
Immersion in a space of forms
This educational and fun exhibition is sure to add a festive touch to your day. Indeed, as the Foundation explains, the optical artist’s aim was to turn it into a “polychrome city of happiness” to “prove that it is possible to create a more humane, colourful and enjoyable habitat, compensating the distance from nature with plastic equivalents”. Inaugurated in 1976 and classified as a Historical Monument since 2013, the Foundation welcomes tens of thousands of visitors every year.
The exhibition begins even before entering the foundation, since each face of the building is a work in its own right. It then offers to the curious people a hypnotic stroll with its monumental works, 6 metres wide by 8 metres high in relief, sometimes hollow, luminous and which force visitors to move around to play with the compositions. You should also take the time to identify the diversity of materials and techniques used by Vasarely to play with your eyes.
The three rooms on the first floor are devoted to the work of the artist, from his first drawings to the creation of his majestic works. Six decades of research are exposed in this second permanent exhibition, which presents more than 250 original works and documents. The foundation also hosts temporary exhibitions and other cultural events.
To be discovered quickly !
From June to October 2020, visit the “Sud-Est” exhibition with a selection of some twenty works by artists from South America and Eastern Europe. Works by Carmelo Arden-Quin, Antonio Asis, Henryk Berlewi, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Marta Boto and more will be on display. One Thursday a month from 4 to 5 pm, the Foundation also offers an entertaining visit to a major work by Victor Vasarely, followed by a discussion over tea in the company of cultural mediators.
As a major artist of the 60s and 70s, Victor Vasarely left behind him a body of work of more than 10,000 paintings. Discover part of his career with a licensed guide, an audio-guide or an information booklet in French! Guided tours in French are organised every Saturday and Sunday at 2.30 pm. For any reservation or further information, please visit the Vasarely Foundation website.
Have a nice cultural visit and see you soon at IS Aix-en-Provence!
Photo credit: IS Aix-en-Provence/Fondation Vasarely