Galerie Zavodny

François Morellet-EN


François Morellet

30. April 1926 - 10. May 2016


In 2016 François Morellet celebrated his ninetieth birthday. Many of the European well respected art institutions prepared artists’ exhibitions to mark this occasion. Gallery Závodný in Mikulov is one of them. It was an our honour to present the work of this great personality to the Czech public.

François Morellet is a well-known artist, painter, graphic artist, author of light objects, spatial structures and architectural projects. The exhibition presents his works created in the second part of 20th century up to today.

In the early fifties, François Morellet consciously decided to move toward geometric abstraction. In his work he is strictly following predetermined principles which create the structure of his paintings, reliefs and light installations. This pre-defined process allows him to incorporate into his works hyperbole, a jot of humour, irony or an element of randomness.

The newly formed visual structure gradually reduces its range of colours to the point of keeping only two basic colours. At this stage, the artist starts using a principle of coding by using randomly selected numbers from a phonebook to create a new structured image. He is also starting to work with object rotations under different angles.

In the 60s, François Morellet is in a close contact with leading artistic personalities, sharing with them their interest for floating kinetic structures, visual art and optical illusion. This group includes artist such J. Stein, F. Sobrino, J. Le Parc, Mr. and Mrs. Molnar, A. Mavigniér, Max Bill, J.R. Soto, Yvaral, G. Alviani... He also meets the artist of the group Zéro /Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Günther Uecker/. François Morellet also becomes a founding member of G.R.A.V. / Groupe Recherche d'Art Visuel /, active from 1960 to 1968 in Paris.

Since 1963, François Morellet works with neon tubes; together with Bruce Nauman, James Turrell, Piotr Kowalski and Dan Flavin, he becomes one of the experimenters with neon light installations. In the early 70´s the Morellet focuses his interest on architectural installations widely using a black tape. He also works with the public space, for example: La Reynie, Paris, 1971, the Musée des Beaux- Arts, Grenoble 1972, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, 1973…

François Morellet was never afraid to work with various materials / his predefined principle formed for him a solid framework / and keeps combining painting on canvas, wooden installations, metal straps and patterns, neon tubes, tapes ...

On the Czech artistic scene, the principles of work of F. Morellet are close to the principles of Zdeněk Sýkora /1920 - 2011/ and indirectly linked to the exceptional artwork of the pioneer of kinetic and optical art of Zdenek Pešánek / 1896 - 1965 /.