November 4, 2010

Vasarely Planetary Folklore Participations No. 1 [through 3,000]

vasarely_planetary.jpg

You know what, maybe things weren't all awesomer and more exciting back in the olden days, when people lined up on Lexington Avenue to get the newest "chic Christmas gift of 1969" at Bloomingdale's. And when they used to stay up all night popping the little plastic Op Art circles into little plastic Op Art squares, and then sticking the little suction cups on the little grid:

"I couldn't stop. I worked until dawn and got so irritated I nearly screamed. Vasarely's paintings always looked like child's play to me. Now I understand all the long years of work behind them."
Uh-huh. The kit in question, Victor Vasarely's Planetary Folklore Participations No. 1 was released in an edition of 3,000 [3,000!]. Near as I can tell, there was no No. 2.

It's mostly a choke hazard and a memory now, but examples do turn up. For like $5,000, which is crazy, since they seem to go for a third of that when there's actual bidding involved.

Vasarely Planetary Folklore Participations No. 1, sold for $1,750 [christies.com, 2008]
Participatory Art [time magazine, 1969]

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