François Morellet Random Distribution of 40,000 Squares Using the Odd and Even Numbers of a Telephone Directory, 50% Blue, 50% Red 1960

  • MoMA, Floor 4, 406 The David Geffen Galleries

A cofounder of the Paris-based Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel, Morellet used geometry and mathematical progressions in his art, but he also allowed for chance operations. For this work, he divided the canvas into a grid of forty thousand squares, then instructed his wife or his sons to read numbers from the phone book out loud. Moving from the top left corner of the canvas to the bottom right, he marked a square for each even number and skipped a square for each odd one. Upon reaching the end, he colored the marked squares blue and the blank ones red.

Gallery label from 2023
Oil on canvas
40 5/8 x 40 5/8" (103 x 103 cm)
Enid A. Haupt Fund
Object number
© 2023 François Morellet / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Painting and Sculpture

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