rennes

François Morellet

La Crie; Galerie Oniris; Galerie Art Et Essai de L' Universite

François Morellet’s work combines a purist approach to systems, which comes directly from the great geometric and Constructivist traditions, with an irrepressible sense of humor, whose antecedents can be traced through Dada back to great 19th-century French humorists such as Alphonse Allais. Morellet’s work from the early ’50s prefigured certain aspects of Minimalism and Op art by several years, and the artist has continued adding new systems to those he developed originally. However, Morellet uses a comic mode to undermine and expose the absurdity of the very systems he employs. In this way, Morellet aligns himself with the Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg, for whom geometry was but another site for Dada.

For a long time now, Morellet has reduced painted works to simple white surfaces. Recently he has used this method to question certain traditional conventions in the practice of painting—in

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.