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François Morellet
Récréation No. 6, 1994

Neon tubes and synthetic materials
112 x 112 cm
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020




1926 born in Cholet-sur-Loire  
2016 died in Cholet-sur-Loire 

A white square, itself a neutral background, forms the background of neon objects in this work from 1994. With simultaneous limitations, this basic surface offers space for a multitude of opportunities, which the artist implies in a series through variation of a compositional principle. Morellet arranges three slightly bent neon tubes horizontally and vertically in the foundational plate; a little differently in each work. The visible electrical connections each connect two lights beyond the edge of the image. A grid of sixteen surfaces results, which immediately allocates the understanding of the arrangement to the form of the square.
Yet, through the crooked course of the neon tubes, the grid is anything but regular or even quadratic. The comparison with the form of the surface makes the deformation even more palpable. Here, Morellet pairs the perfect form of the square, which only exists in mathematics or as an idea, with the imperfection of real, existing things. From neon lights come, of course, light. The imperfect reality receives the aura of something special.