Beyond Containment, Katherine Sanders

In Katherine Sanders, nonfiction on July 23, 2011 at 4:33 am

I’ve been an admirer of Francois Morellet since I saw his exhibit at the Pompidou, especially how he’s able to use the element of chance in his work. A flag of the Mona Lisa flapping in the wind. Lighted tubes arranged in geometric shapes turning on and off with the press of two buttons. A long tree branch hanging next to a painted black line. In an interview with art critic Daniel Soutif I watched recently, Morellet talks about how he uses numbers from the phone book to create some of his works. He uses a numbered grid and lets the randomly selected digits determine where he puts his points—first on the grid, then on the canvas. I didn’t want to write about this here, but I found out today that one of my best friends has thyroid cancer. She’s going to have surgery to remove the malignant area. She’s been healthy her entire life and she’s an artist. At the Pompidou’s gift shop when I purchased the DVD of Morellet being interviewed by Soutif, next to it I saw a documentary about Andy Goldsworthy—I remember watching that DVD with my friend while sitting on our couch when we were living together. She explained with excitement how nature became part of the artwork—the movements of animals, every kind of weather, and decay. All these become part of the land sculpture. Now a new element of nature has been added to her life. In one of my favorite pieces by Morellet, large metal tubes at seemingly random angles extend from floor to ceiling. These caught my attention because of the way they stretch my view. It’s as though these metal lines could continue forever—become part of that other-world of pure geometry, pure art, they are beyond full containment.


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