T00753 0519-Bayna 1964
Inscribed 'Vasarely' at bottom and '0519 | "BAYNA" | 1964 59.5 x 59.5 | Vasarely' on back of mount
Gouache on hardboard square hung diagonally, sides of the square 23 1/2 x 23 1/2 (59.5 x 59.5); as hung, 33 x 33 (84 x 84)
Purchased from the artist through the Hanover Gallery (Knapping Fund) 1965
Exh: Vasarely, Hanover Gallery, London, May-June 1965 (20) as '0519 Bayna'
Repr: Michael Compton, Optical and Kinetic Art (London 1967), pl.10 in colour as '0519-Banya'
Vasarely's system of working with a plastic alphabet of standardised forms and colours known as 'Planetary Folklore' was formulated in the late 1950s and was at patented by him on 2 March 1959. As a starting-point forms such as circles, squares placed diagonally, rhomboids and ellipses were punched out of paper squares of a fixed range of colours, and could then be placed in squares of a different colour from which a corresponding shape had already been punched. This made possible a vast range of permutations within a compositional structure of uniform horizontal and vertical rows. These collages were then sometimes used as the basis for paintings, screenprints and so on.
The artist wrote on 6 October 1965: '"0519-BAYNA" is a permutational experiment and is a unique work. It is made up of plastic units and forms part of a comprehensive programme of research which I call "PLANETARY FOLKLORE". The number 0519 is a reference number, its title is taken from a small village in Hungary, a memory - no doubt - of Hungary's rich folklore.'
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.745-6, reproduced p.745