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Screen Prints & Non-Prints

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Untitled - Blue Repeat Patterns on a Green Square

26 3/8 x 26 1/4 in. (67 x 66.7 cm)

Victor Vasarely
French (Pécs, Hungary, 1906 or 1908 - 1997, Paris, France)

Object Type: Print
Medium and Support: Serigraph
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1968.65
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view

Edition: 121/300

Publisher: 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]

Galerie Denise René, Paris; purchased from them by the Gallery in 1968

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