Best known as the "father" figure of Op Art, Vasarely went through a number of styles to get there. During his start as a graphic designer, he was influenced by the artists of the Bauhaus and early Abstract Expressionism. He unstintingly took these principles to new levels of geometric precision and fostered the Op Art movement. His brilliant works went mainstream, in the forms of posters and fabrics. Not lacking in confidence, Vasarely used the proceeds to design and build his own museum.
1951-1955: Kinetic images, black-white photographies: From his Gordes works he developed his kinematic images, superimposed acrylic glass panes create dynamic, moving impressions depending on the viewpoint. In the black-white period he combined the frames into a single pane by transposing photographies in two colours. Tribute to Malevitch, a ceramic wall picture of 100 m² adorns the University of Caracas, Venezuela which he co-designed in 1954 with the architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva, is a major work of this period. Kinetic art flourished and works by Vasarely, Calder, Duchamp, Man Ray, Soto, Tinguely were exhibited at the Denise René gallery under the title Le Mouvement (the motion). Vasarely published his Yellow Manifest. Building on the research of constructivist and Bauhaus pioneers, he postulated that visual kinetics (plastique cinétique) relied on the perception of the viewer who is considered the sole creator, playing with optical illusions.
1955-1965: Folklore planétaire, permutations and serial art: On 2 March 1959, Vasarely patented his method of unités plastiques. Permutations of geometric forms are cut out of a coloured square and rearranged. He worked with a strictly defined palette of colours and forms (three reds, three greens, three blues, two violets, two yellows, black, white, gray; three circles, two squares, two rhomboids, two long rectangles, one triangle, two dissected circles, six ellipses) which he later enlarged and numbered. Out of this plastic alphabet, he started serial art, an endless permutation of forms and colours worked out by his assistants. (The creative process is produced by standardized tools and impersonal actors which questions the uniqueness of a work of art.) In 1963, Vasarely presented his palette to the public under the name of Folklore planetaire.
1965-: Hommage à l'hexagone, Vega: The Tribute to the hexagon series consists of endless transformations of indentations and relief adding color variations, creating a perpetual mobile of optical illusion. In 1965 Vasarely was included in the Museum of Modern Art exhibition "The Responsive Eye," created under the direction of William C. Seitz. His Vega series plays with spherical swelling grids creating an optical illusion of volume. In October 1967, designer Will Burtin invited Vasarely to make a presentation to Burtin's Vision ’67 conference, held at New York University.