During a career spanning more than six decades François Morellet (1926 – 2016) developed a radical approach to geometric abstraction.
Born in Cholet, France, he studied in Paris before returning to run his family-owned toy factory until 1975. He turned to abstraction after a trip to Brazil in 1950, where he discovered Concrete Art and Max Bill’s inquiry. He was highly influenced by Jean Arp and Theo van Doesburg, and by the anonymous beauty of the Islamic decorative art he fully discovered whilst visiting the Alhambra in Spain in 1952. As a founding member of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV), an experimental artists group emerging in France in the early 1960s, he permanently explored the possibilities of Kinetic art and the viewer’s active engagement inside the work of art. His work has been exhibited in Documenta in Kassel, Germany (1964 [with GRAV], 1968, and 1977), and in the Venice Biennale (1970 and 1990). His works have been collected in major public collections including the Centre Pompidou, Dia Art Foundation, Los Angeles Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Seoul Museum of Art, Tate Britain, the Tel Aviv Museum, the Kunsthaus Zurich and the Nationalgalerie Berlin.