Two shows, one artist
François Morelli has some striking works on view in two simultaneous shows in the Belgo Building on Ste. Catherine St. near Bleury.
In Faire à sa tête, at the Galerie Joyce Yahouda, Room 516, Morelli took a common item of clothing — the belt — and subverted it for artistic ends.
Clusters of belts hang from the ceiling like so many writhing serpents. Bunches of belts are fashioned into crude mitts that gallery visitors are invited to try on. These are elements of series Morelli calls Beltheads.
The other show, in Optica, Room 508, is called Home Wall Drawing / L’Art de manger. It’s full of dinner plates.
Some are contained in a large, hanging wire structure; others cover the wall. The plates are decorated with intricate little designs of people, animals and things. Some are whole, while others are broken. The gallery walls are also covered with expanses of paper that Morelli has decorated with designs similar to those on the plates.
Gazette art critic Henry Lehmann was greatly taken by both shows. He said, “In this day of digital reality and electronic wizardry, plates and traditional porcelain ware might seem out of date, yet it is Morelli’s disregard for convention that makes much of his art so interesting.
“In asking major questions about being, individuality, self and the nature of community, Morelli has the nerve to evoke older craft and kitsch traditions. Also, however, as signified in the broken dishes, he is willing to break with these traditions.”
Morelli is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes drawing, sculpture and performance. He earned his BFA at Concordia in 1975. He has lived in New York, and has travelled widely in the course of his work. Last year he presented an overview of his career called “Sleep, Eat and Go,” in The Defiant Imagination lecture series at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
He is currently Graduate Program Director in Fine Arts.
Both shows by François Morelli are on view at 372 Ste. Catherine St. W., until Oct. 14.