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François Morellet

Born in France in 1926, François Morellet was a pioneering modern artist. His muse was light, and he worked mainly with neon in the Conceptual style. He co-founded the Visual Arts Research Group in the early 1960s to experiment with new methods of producing art and experiencing the creative process. His aim was to use geometric, mathematical shapes to create his art, and he had a particular love of circles and lines. He also had a clear and focused philosophy of creativity. Because of these musings, many associated him with the Minimalist genre: for Morellet, the artist was more facilitator than pure creator, and he had a distaste for the ‘lone genius’ artistic style. He was fascinated as much by the process of creation as the end product. He explored bringing in unexpected and spontaneous elements to his work – for him, it was as much about chaos and discovery in the moment as it was about carefully crafting and refining a piece of art. He also had a love of wordplay and often used puns or palindromes to title his art. His work is still respected and loved around the world today and on display at many notable galleries. Morellet died at the age of 90 in Cholet, France, in 2016.

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