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François Morellet, Sphère-frames, 1962, aluminum. Installation view, Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, 1963. From La Troisième Biennale de Paris.

François Morellet

François Morellet, Sphère-frames, 1962, aluminum. Installation view, Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, 1963. From La Troisième Biennale de Paris.

IT IS IRONIC that François Morellet remains most recognized for his affiliation with GRAV (Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel), since the Paris-based collective aimed precisely to do away with the artist as author. Between 1960 and 1968, Horacio García Rossi, Julio Le Parc, Morellet, Francisco Sobrino, Joël Stein, and Yvaral produced objects, events, and environments that challenged spectators to take on a participatory role as makers of meaning. The group complicated not only the phenomenological singularity of artist and spectator but also the contemporaneous definition of “visual art” through an emphasis on “research”: Their broad mandate included a reliance on the scientific method and its negotiation between rational systems and random or chance-based permutations. Almost as a riposte, curators Alfred Pacquement and Serge Lemoine’s “Réinstallations” resituated Morellet’s

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