Artist biography

François Morellet born 1926

French abstract painter and sculptor. Born at Cholet. Began to paint, self-taught, in 1946 while a student at the Ecole des Langues Orientales. Has pursued his artistic career while also managing his family's factory at Cholet. From 1948-50 made semi-figurative paintings and sculpture influenced by Oceanic art. Turned to abstract art in 1950 (when he had his first one-man exhibition at the Galerie Creuze in Paris), then attempted to systematise the principles of Neo-Plasticism by rigorously applying simple, clearly discernible systems from 1952 onwards, which reduced the role of the artist's sensibility to the minimum. 1956-60 worked with regular superimpositions of lines, either painted or in wire lattice. Co-founder with Le Pare, Sobrino, Yvaral and others of the Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel 1960. Made screenprints in 1961 each with 40,000 squares and two colours distributed by chance, followed in 1962 by his first aluminium spheres. Since 1963 has made extensive use of neon forms which rhythmically switch on and off, including some which can be activated by the spectator. His work also includes a number of multiples. Lives at Cholet.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.540-1