French, born 1926
Geometree No. 51, 1984
Acrylic on canvas with branch
78 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches (200 x 200 cm)
Gift of the artist, 1984
In the early 1950s, François Morellet began to create paintings based on geometry and simple systems like patterns and grids. In his "Geometree" series, he playfully explores the theme of the relationship between science and nature. The obvious pun in the title refers to the combination of man-made and natural geometry. The branches help to determine the overall composition as their shapes are repeated, continued, or complemented by the painted lines in such a way that, at certain distances and angles, it is difficult to discern one from the other. The success of the combination challenges the traditional idea that nature and science are antithetical to one another and shows them in a harmony that is both thought-provoking and amusing.
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