Recent Works: Paintings And Neon
Contemporary French painter, engraver, sculptor and light artist, Francois Morellet, has an international reputation, especially in Germany and France, and his work has been commissioned for public and private collections in Switzerland, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, and the US. Morellet’s art has played an important and ground-breaking role in geometric abstraction over the past half century. Morellet uses a simple pictorial language of geometric forms: mainly lines, as well as squares and triangles, assembled into two-dimensional compositions. He describes his use of lines, since 1952, as constituting four main systems: “juxtaposition and superposition”, “interference”, “fragmentation” and “chance”. He says, “For their sake I forsook, for fifty-four years, other lines – indecisive, spontaneous or tormented – that I had naively loved during the 1940’s”. In 1961 he was part of a group that founded “Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel” (GRAV). This group of Kinetic artists explored the possibilities of the visual arts in a scientific and experimental way. At this time, Morellet began his work with neon tubes, following his interest in the luminosity of this material. Recently, his work with lines, has grown into working with strips of color. Many of his new pieces involve, as he puts it, “confrontations between two inveterate antagonists, the line and the strip: light pencil strokes and accumulations of broad, black acrylic strips”. Morellet has also worked in other materials including fabric, tape, and walls, among others, and has investigated the use of exhibition space in terms similar to installation and environmental art. Morellet uses rules and constraints established in advance to guide the creation of many of his works, and allows chance to play a role in some of his pieces. His rigorous use of geometry tends to create emotionally neutral work, and places him close to Minimal and Conceptual art in his aims. However, his provocative stance and sense of humor place Morellet close to Dada in many ways. His works share an affinity to the works of American artists such as Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly.