Dot, Line, Surface and Light

09 June 2024 • 05 January 2025

Preview Sunday 09 June at 11am

Curator: Pierre Coullet, Université Côte d'Azur Emeritus Professor at the Nice Institute of Physics INPHYNI (Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS)

In partnership with the Université Côte d’Azur (UniCA) and the University of Chile (UCHILE)

This exhibition has been awarded the 2023-2024 Year of Physics’ label.


media's partnership

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Artists : Jean-Philippe Roubaud, Victor Vasarely, Edmond Vernassa


Organised by Pierre Coullet, physicist and Emeritus Professor at Université Côte d'Azur, this exhibition in the Albers-Honegger Donation Level -1 rooms aims to re-establish science in a context of culture, and of art and the history of civilisations in particular.

Its theme of ‘Art and Geometry’ is explored through optical devices and paintings which illustrate how light becomes uniquely concentrated when reflected onto curved mirrors or refracted by being shone through dioptres (transparent volumes, water, glass, etc.).

As well as highlighting the aesthetics of ‘light’s unique structures’, the aim is also to offer a cultural and educational overview of the geometry of optics which creates a natural bridge between ‘Art and Sciences’. Key to this exhibition is the history of science and of geometrical optics in particular.

This project would never have seen the light of day had it not been for a meeting with Edmond Vernassa, a Nice-based artist. Among the many works he left behind are his Ciné-Optiques (Cine-Optics), moving light devices where intermittent light sources are observed through a patterned sheet of Plexiglas, illustrating the physical phenomena which the exhibition examines.

Also exhibited are the works of two other artists, Jean-Philippe Roubaud and Victor Vasarely, who also focus on these unique aspects of light.

Jean-Philippe Roubaud’s work focuses on drawing in black and white, working with pencil and graphite powder. He takes this technique to its limits, allowing it to break free of its traditional two-dimensional framework so that it spreads into space and merges with other media (ceramics, sculpture, performance, etc.). For this exhibition, Roubaud has produced a specific installation which looks at the phenomenon of anamorphosis.

Recognised as the leading proponent of Op Art in France, Victor Vasarely developed his own model of geometric abstract art based on the use of vibrant shapes and colours. The tapestry shown in the exhibition is part of his Vega series, which examines optical distortions. The shading of the colours accentuates the effect of the shapes’ expanded volume and appears to bring the sphere to the surface.