Vasa (Velizar Mihich) b. 1933
Born in Yugoslavia, Velizar Mihich, better known simply as Vasa, has been living and creating work in Los Angeles since the 1960s. A young Vasa came to the U.S. to be closer to American art currents of the era, and stayed, according to him, for the colors and quality of light in Los Angeles. The beginning of Vasa’s love affair with LA was the end of his realistic painting career: after making several impressionistic works of city scenery, he pivoted to creating works influenced by both the region’s Hard Edge painters and the Light and Space Movement. “I came to the United States because of Abstract Expressionism,” Vasa said in a 2007 monograph, “Instead, I found Minimalism, and more."
Reflecting on Vasa's career, former LA Times critic Henry Seldis wrote that the artist's geometric understanding of light, color, and material has made him “the most sensuous and sensational colorist of the Southern California artists working in plastic.”
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