Born in 1926 in Cholet

He inaugurated the Oniris gallery in September 1986.

He passed away in May 2016 at the age of 90.




2017-18: Dia Art Foundation, New York

2014: Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Geneva, Switzerland

1913 to 2013: Grand Palais, Galeries Nationales, Paris
5 x 3, M-ARCO, Le Box, Marseille, France

2013: Dynamo: A century of light and movement in art, Grand Palais, Paris (expo coll.)

2011: Reinstallations, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris France

2010: Spectrum Gallery, Osaka, Japan
Serial but not serious, Museum für konkrete kunst, Ingolstadt, Germany
The spirit of the staircase, Louvre Museum, Paris

2009: Song Art Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Morellet at Le Corbusier's, Tourette's Convent, Eveux

2007 and 2008: Na & Lee Art Center, Gimpo, Korea

2005: Pallacio Rivelligiado, CajAstur, Gijon, Spain

2003: "the 19th", Centre d'Art contemporain, Montbéliard (exhibition coll.)

2000: Museum of Fine Arts, Clermont-Ferrand

1997: Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (exhibition coll.)

1996: Wilhem Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany

1992 ... 2004: Espace Art Concret, Mouans-Sartoux

1994-96: Musée de Grenoble (exhibition coll.)

1991 : Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (expo coll.)

1987 : Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

1986: Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris
Villa Arson, Nice

1984: Le Coin du Miroir, The Consortium, Dijon


François Morellet is a major and singular artist on the French and the international scene. He is an emblematic representative of geometric abstraction and a precursor of minimalism. François Morellet very quickly established himself as an abstract geometric artist, but he has always been careful not to confine his work to a narrow systematic framework. Each work by François Morellet is both the result of systematism [the work resulting from the application of a predefined system, stated at least in part in the title] and chance [since the proposition is one of the possibilities of the application of this system].

I have always tried to minimize my subjective decisions and my artisanal intervention to let my simple, obvious and preferably absurd systems act freely.

From the end of the 1940s onwards, François Morellet's painting strives to evacuate individual subjectivity by obeying collective preoccupations.


After a short figurative period (1947-1950), he amplified this evolution towards an art free of all romanticism by choosing abstraction in 1950. He then adopted a very stripped down geometric language, marked by the example of Mondrian and by the work of Max Bill and Concrete Art, discovered during a trip to Brazil in 1951, as well as by the geometric motifs of the Alhambra of Granada, admired in 1952. It is from this date that François Morellet sets the rules of the game in his creations, he justifies each of his choices by a principle, a system established beforehand, which can go, from 1958, to the point of involving chance in the attribution of the different components of the painting.


From 1961 to 1968, he was one of the members of the Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel (GRAV) with five other artists. In 1963, François Morellet began to create works with neon tubes.


After 1970, a third period begins for him, marked by the creation of works that are more and more stripped down, playing with their support and the space that surrounds them. He then realized a large number of architectural integrations. An artist with a strong international reputation using multiple supports as materials (canvases, paintings, adhesives, neon lights, building surfaces, etc.), he received great respect in France and internationally.


François Morellet passed away in May 2016 at the age of 90. That year, the Musée des Beaux-arts de Chambéry dedicated a retrospective to him, as the Centre Pompidou in Paris had already done twice before (in 1986 and 2011). In order to continue the transmission of his work, and to inscribe it in the history of American minimal art, a monographic exhibition was presented at the prestigious Dia Art Foundation in New York in November 2017.

Works selection
Virtual tour

Interview François Morellet - INA, 1970