Untitled - Blue Repeat Patterns on a Green Square
26 3/8 x 26 1/4 in. (67 x 66.7 cm)
(Pécs, Hungary, 1906 or 1908 - 1997, Paris, France)
Medium and Support:
Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Location: Not currently on view
Edition Domberger Stuttgart
Shape, color, and pattern all play a role in perceiving spatial depth in a two-dimensional image. When you look at this print by Victor Vasarely, do you see a layer of smaller green circles over a layer of larger blue circles, and on top of a green background? Or a blue gear-like shape on a green background with a semicircular border?
If you see the former, you are inferring that there is a separate layer of green circles even though they are not clearly distinguished from the same green background. Why might you do this? The human visual system tends to prefer simple shapes over complex ones and regular patterns over irregularities, sometimes interpreting these preferences when evidence for them is inconclusive. In this case, your visual system completes the pattern set up by the smaller green circles that appear to sit on top of the larger blue circles. Your brain fills in the picture, creating a pattern where one might exist.
[Label copy from Seeing in Color and Black and White, 2018]