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François Morellet

Born in 1926 - France

BIOGRAPHY

François Morellet is a French contemporary artist, painter, engraver and sculptor, born on 30th April 1926 in Cholet (Maine-et-Loire).

Initially, the creator embarked on a short figurative period. Then, he became one of the major representatives of geometric abstraction, an art which was broken free from romanticism and under the influence of works by Pierre Dmitrienko. The artist adapted a pared-down geometric language, marked by Mondrian's example, made up of simple shapes, with limited color, assembled in two dimension elementary compositions. Morellet's world is very mathematical and reminds us of Dan Flavin's minimal work.

1952 onward, François Morellet began implementing his initial systems, under a pattern which was established in advance. The artist gives the impression of having control over creation, all the while leaving room for fate. In 1960, François Morellet created the Visual Art Research group (GRAV), with the following artists: Horacio Garcia Rossi, Julio Le Parc, Joël Stein, Francisco Sobrino and Jean-Pierre Yvaral. They redefined the boundaries of minimal and kinetic art with a social aim. 1963 onward, Morellet included neon in his work, by playing around with specifics( lighting intensity, instant lighting...)

After the events of May 68, the group wound up. Little later, François Morellet invented his own way of exhibition, by laying frames of black adhesive tape on various areas and mediums (like the sculptures of the Beaux Arts Museum in Nantes). Research and experimental process took precedence over the masterpiece. Whereas until now, he preferred straight lines. Morellet included curves in his work, with the Grotesques and Lunatiques series.

The retrospectives of the artist are part of major institutions like the Centre Pompidou (2011), La Monnaie de Paris (2016)… The installations of the artist are all over museums, like the one of Beaux Arts Anger in 2002, or Nantes in 2008.

In 2010, one of the artist's creations became part of the Louvre permanently. It is presented in the Lefuel staircase, north wing of Richelieu. The geometric lines of the stained-glass are unbalanced " I hope having created a discreet and absurd chaos, which could put a smile across the faces of visitors, in my own way, and not being blindly obvious about the rest, so that they don't stumble on the stairs". An artistic discrepancy, completely in keeping with the demystification effect of the artist.

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EXHIBITIONS

2011
Musée national d’Art Moderne (Centre Pompidou), Paris (France)

2010 Musée du Louvre à Paris – He was the second living artist who had a work on show at the Louvre, “L’Esprit d’escalier”, an installation around the Lefuel Staircase in the Richelieu wing of the museum.

2007
Musée moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris (France)

2003
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy/Musée Matisse et Musée du Chateau Cambrésis (France)

1997
Musée des Beaux-Arts d’Angers (France)

1991
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Grenoble (France)

1986
Musée national d’Art Moderne (Centre Pompidou), Paris (France)

1984-85
Travelling exhibition, The Brooklyn Museum, NY (USA) / Center for the Fine Arts (Miami)/Musée d’Art contemporain, Montréal (Canada)

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