A Pop-Up Book For Grownups

Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely is widely considered the father of Op art, the abstract art movement that made use of trippy optical illusions to fool the viewer’s eye. Beginning in the 1930s, with fellow Op-art pioneers like Josef Albers, Vasarely used tricks of geometry, color, and shadow to make the 2-D appear 3-D. Some of Vasarely’s paintings might make you feel dizzy or like you’re hallucinating: he turned flat canvases into psychedelic wormholes.

Right: Flickr user Elliott Brown

In Pop-Up Op Art, a new book from Prestel, Parisian paper artist Philippe UG has transformed seven of Vasarely’s already eye-popping pieces into 3-D pop-ups. As you turn the book’s pages, they spring to life as candy-colored miniature sculptures, each based on a specific work of Vasarely’s. It’s a playful reimagining of the work of a pioneering artist who died in 1997 but whose aesthetic continues to enchant. And the pop-up book, a genre usually reserved for the toddler set, becomes a delightful art object for all ages.

Pop-Up Op Art is available from Prestel here for $25.