furthest extent they had yet reached.
In 927 AD he took York from the Danes, and forced the submission of Constantine, King of
Scotland and of the northern kings. All five of the Welsh kings agreed to pay a huge annual
tribute. He also eliminated opposition in Cornwall. In 937 AD, at the Battle of Brunanburh,
Athelstan led a force drawn from Britain, and defeated an invasion made by the king of Scotland,
in alliance with the Welsh and Danes, from Dublin.
A few pieces of very fine examples of Opus Anglicanum have survived, including three pieces at
Durham that had been placed in the coffin of St Cuthbert, probably in the 930s, after being given
by King Athelstan; they were however made in Winchester between 909 and 916. These have
been referred to as "works of breathtaking brilliance and quality", including figures of saints,
and important early examples of the Winchester style, which were no doubt discussed by both
Alfred and Athelstan during their visits to Rome for meeting with the Pope.
Under Athelstan, law codes strengthened royal control over his large kingdom; currency was
regulated to control silver's weight and to penalise fraudsters; buying and selling was largely
confined to the burhs, encouraging town life; and areas of settlement in the Midlands and Danish
towns were consolidated into shires. Overseas, Athelstan built alliances by marrying off four of
his half sisters to various rulers in western Europe.
He was also a great collector of works of art and religious relics, which he gave away to many of
his followers and churches in order to gain their support. He died in 939 AD at the height of his
powers, and was buried in Malmesbury Abbey. This was a fit burial place for him, as he had been
an ardent supporter and endower of the abbey.
Little is written of this man, who with the guidance of his grandfather and an unbelievable depth
and breadth of education - through strength of will and negotiation, continued the work of his
grandfather to establish the code of legal civilisation which endures to this day.
creasingly based on geometry. He was working to devise a new pictorial language for the masses. He repeatedly studied the landscapes of the Breton island of Belle Isle, radically simplifying scenes to transform nature into geometric shapes.
Vasarely increasingly found his subject matter in the sciences—such as physics, biochemistry, and magnetic fields—and described his abstract art as "…poetic creations with palpable qualities capable of triggering emotional and imaginative processes in others." His art gave sensory forms to unperceivable phenomena.
Vasarely came to feel that color and form were linked in that each color and each form should share the same identity. He viewed his abstract art as composed of pure color-form which by its very abstractness signified the world through the limitless associations and responses of the viewer.
In the mid-1950s Vasarely began integrating architecture into his art and producing kinetic works, films and writings. The Denise René Gallery in 1955 had a pioneering show of kinetic art, "Le Movement." Among those represented were Vasarely, whose works employed the principle of optical movement.
Vasarely's concern with optical perception had lead him to explore the effects of motion, not of the art object but of the viewer in relation to it. His works were composed of several overlapped sheets of Plexiglas on which black designs had been painted. The slightest motion of the viewer made the design seem to change and move as well. In conjunction with the show Vasarely issued his Yellow Manifesto, in which he discussed his theories of color and perception.
In Vasarely's black-white period of 1951-1963, he used compositions of stripes, checks, circles, or lines to explore the illusionistic effects he could achieve by modifying his patterns to give the impression of surface movement or of concave or convex forms, as in Andromeda (1955-1958). At the same time he developed the idea of eliminating the premise of the figure-ground relation, the image or central motif set against a ground plane or an environment, by filling the entire surface with uniform optical stimulation. In conjunction with this he often reversed a composition by inverting the black-white or color relationships.
In 1965, he participated in the "Responsive Eye" exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art, dedicated exclusively to "Optical Art". This pictorial movement attached itself to the concept of suggesting motion without ever actually performing it. It instituted a new relationship between artist and spectator, where the observer cannot remain passive, he is free to interpret the image in as many visual scenarios ha can conceive. Received with great acclaim, the press and the public hailed Vasarely as the inventor and creator of "Op-Art".