With the Black & White period (1954-1960), Vasarely revives his graphic studies, his work on linear grids and deformed waves. He also takes interest in photography techniques and makes “photograph-isms” by superposing two glass plates.
In 1955, the focus at the Galerie Denise René in Paris is on kinetic art. Vasarely and other artists such as Duchamp, Man Ray, Calder, Tinguely and Agam, exhibit their works on the theme of movement. The same year Vasarely publishes his “Manifeste Jaune” which outlines the concept of “kinetic plasticity". In doing so, he renews not only with the research of constructivist pioneers, but also with Bauhaus teachings. The movement does not adhere to the idea of “compositions” or “subjects”, but more to idea that the viewer is in fact the one unique artist.
Optical illusions are made from the plastic unity of two shapes of contrasting colors. Until 1960, the only colors used are black and white. When motion transforms these plastic shapes, the dimensions of movement and space come to life.