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Francois Morellet

FRANÇOIS MORELLET was born in Cholet (France) in 1926. Morellet began to interest himself in geometrical abstract forms (usually uniform structures), towards 1950. His initial research led him to mostly two-tone surfaces and, in 1956, to the first superimposed patterns, painted or metallic, determining retinal effects of alteration. In 1960, in Paris, he was a founding-member of GRAV (Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuelle) and his interest centered on kinetic perception investigated by means of geometrical lattices or grids, usually very fine, with the purpose of determining vibrant chromatic surfaces and new graduations of color depending on the intensity and quality of the rhythms of perception. This was the period of the series of silk-screen prints, which analyzed the influence of the context of the lattice on the luminous and chromatic quality of the color. In 1963 he became interested in the relationship between perception and environment, creating spaces which involved and surrounded the viewer by means of luminous projections on screens which could be modified by the viewer, as well as continuous images, superimpositions of emitted luminous rhythms (intermittent lamps, neon, etc.), undulatory movements, and complex visual itineraries. With other GRAV artists he investigated what could be called the eye’s faculty of orienting itself in the labyrinth of perception. With GRAV, he took part in numerous exhibitions, notably important being “The Responsive Eye” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965. After the dissolution of the group in 1968 he continued his research on the aleatory nature of perception, the final objective of the research remaining the kinetic-perceptive-relationship between retina and screen and, starting from this experimental basis, space as the relationship between object and subject. These enlarged patterns are superimposed on architectural structures or public spaces, by means of painting or slide-projection, to promote an alternative interpretation of the support and of the intervention. Morellet’s work has been included in numerous international exhibitions, among them, in 1968, “Dokumenta 4″ at Kassel and the XIV Triennial in Milan. He has held exhibitions at the Palais Des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the Musee des Beaux Arts at Nantes and the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. His works were included in the “Paris-Paris” exhibition at the Center Pompidou in Paris in 1981, in the “L’ultima avanguardia” exhibition at the Palazzo Reale, Milan, in 1983, and, in 1984, in a traveling exhibition visiting the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Brooklyn Museum in New York, and the Center for the Fine Arts in Miami.