Technically, a parabola is a symmetrically mirrored U-shape. Pierre Cardin began working with the parabola in the 1950s, particularly in the 1957 Lasso collection. With the introduction of stretch fabrics and hoops in the 1960s, those sweeping, graceful parabolic drapes became amplified, evolving into ellipses and cones.
Some of Cardin’s “Parabolic” fashions collapse flat, are easily packed, and emerge as before — like his earlier Cardine dresses, which could be twisted, rolled and stowed effortlessly into luggage. Developed alongside Cardin’s investigations into furniture sculpture, the big, sculptural shapes of the Parabolic dresses were likewise designed to be seen in 360 degrees. And since they were made of stretch fabric, they had a bounce reminiscent of his “Kinetic” dresses from 1972.
Referencing his earlier “Lasso” or “Eye of the Needle” designs done in wool and mohair, in 1990s’ Parabolic Evening Gown, Cardin creates the shape as a pink and green silk parabola.
Victor Vasarely (April 9th, 1906 – March 15th, 1997), was a Hungarian–French artist, who is widely accepted as a leader of the Op Art movement. During the 1960s and ’70s, his optical images became part of the popular culture, having a deep impact on architecture, computer science, fashion, and the way we now look at things in general. Even though he achieved great fame, he insisted on making his art accessible to everyone. His motto was “Art for all”.
The breakthrough brought by his kinetic visual experiments transformed the flat surface into a world of unending possibilities, book marking an era in the history of art and foreshadowing a new global reality shaped by programming and the Internet. Ondho (oil on canvas, 1956 – 60) was painted during a span of time when he worked on serveral different series including Folklore Planétaire, Permutations and Serial Art.
You can learn more about the fascinating life and groundbreaking career of Victor Vasarely by visiting his official website, Vasarely Dot Com, and be sure to watch the very trippy intro!
Victor Vasarely’s Ondho is part of the Permanent Collection at the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown Manhattan.