The gallery has always attached particular importance to the curatorial aspect of its activities and our intramuros program has often been marked by the meeting of two personalities in the form of a “conversation”.
It was as a result of visits from the workshops of Jack Youngerman and François Morellet that it seemed to us pertinent to think of a project associated with some of their most recent works as we were struck by potential affinities.
Contemporary contemporaries – and in their 89th year they are friends of very long standing. Indeed, Morellet and Youngerman met in 1952 while the second lived in France and was the companion of the actress Delphine Seyrig. Both of them set up a vocabulary against the dominant positions at that time, by endeavoring to produce a form of abstraction that had been deprived.
This project is therefore above all the expression of a friendship between two artists who set up a vocabulary at a very young age against the dominant positions of the time, focusing on a form of creation of ” a rather radical abstraction. Using basic shapes, round formats and squares – sometimes on the tip – or triangular, straight or curved, the two artists predetermine their compositions to eliminate the arbitrary and develop their pieces serially, with a spatial approach enough similar. Other elements bring them closer together: the scale ratios and the wall are comparable, as is the presence of symmetry.
In Switzerland, where the history of geometric abstraction has been constantly renewed, it seems pertinent to us to present this dialogue between two major artists whose work gives a sense of almost jubilant accomplishment.
François Morellet and Jack Youngerman were born in 1926, the first in Cholet, the second in Saint-Louis (Missouri). Their works are featured in numerous public collections and among the exhibitions and retrospectives that have been devoted to Youngerman include the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1986 and the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill in 2005 and Morellet, the Brooklyn Museum in New York in 1985 and at the Center Pompidou in Paris in 2011.