Monsieur et Madame
b. Cholet, France, 30 April 1926 ; d. Cholet, France, 10 May 2016
François Morellet was a French artist and pioneer of geometric abstraction. From the early 1950s, he envisaged a method of artistic production characterised by a desire to reduce the artist's own subjective interference. His abstract works seem to rely only on combinatorial systems: lines and curves obey mathematical equations, or random lists of numbers such as (for example) the various decimal places of Pi. In 1960, he founded the Visual Art Research Group (GRAV) with Julio Le Parc and Francisco Sobrino, among others. In 1963, he was one of the first artists to incorporate fluorescent lights into his work, playing on its distinctive characteristics such as fluorescence, light intensity, and industrial manufacturing.
His installations have filled museums and galleries the world over, including the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nantes (2008), the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Monnaie in Paris (2016), and the Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, NY (2017). In 2010, he became the second living artist in history to have his work permanently installed in the Louvre in Paris.