This will be the first major display of Morellet’s work in Berlin since his 1977 solo show at the Neue Nationalgalerie, and will be staged during the city’s Gallery Weekend.
Throughout his long career – he will be 89 this year – Morellet has worked with geometric forms. While he has used a variety of media and techniques, his interest in grids, planes, and the arrangement of lines within space has been constant. The centerpiece of this exhibition, the site-specific Bandes Décimées, 2015, is a typical example. Two large-scale vinyl installations range across the opposing walls of the gallery’s vast downstairs space. On one wall Morellet has created a repeated sequence of overlapping vertical and diagonal lines; on the other these are replicated, only in negative form, creating origami-like shapes. While the lines have been created by a rigorous mathematical system, the shapes produced in the negative are random; subtractions creating abstract forms. By employing constructivist, mathematical systems Morellet plays with our visual expectations; planes and lines are tilted, symmetry is disrupted and geometry is altered. The result, as with much of Morellet’s work, is playful, beautiful and challenging, asking the observer to engage intellectually as well as aesthetically.
Mounted on the outside wall of the upper exhibition space, is π Weeping Neonly, 2002, an iconic Morellet neon work – a medium he began exploring in the early 1960s. The work, comprised of 42 white neon lights, is arranged in a pattern, each connected by the electric cables connected to the power source. And the upper space has been divided into two rooms, the first housing a suite of paintings in monochrome and single colours; the second containing a series of smaller ‘neon paintings’ set against painted square canvases.
Meanwhile, a number of early works dating back to the 1950s and 1960s, offer a fascinating insight into Morellet’s development as an artist while also recognising how his innovatory work was precursor to many of the topoi of minimalism and installation art. These works can be viewed by appointment only. Please contact the gallery for further information.