During the early 1950s, François Morellet began creating paintings based on simple geometric systems such as patterns and grids. In his "Geometree" series, Morellet playfully explores the relationship between science and nature. The obvious pun in the painting’s title refers to the work’s combination of man-made and natural geometry, which is further conveyed by the artist’s use of a tree branch as the main compositional element. The branches’ shapes in Geometree No. 51 are repeated, continued, and complemented by the painted lines, yet at certain distances and angles, the lines meld together. The success of this combination challenges the notion that nature and science are opposite to one another.
The Painting and Sculpture Collection: Acquisitions Since 1972