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exhibition « πpicturaux : πpiquant et πrococo »

23 January 1999 to 14 March 1999


François Morellet’s project conceived for CCC Tours is surprisingly large-scale. The programme of “πpictorial: πpiquant and πrococo” contains an urban element and an exhibition. Word play is mixed with scientific rigour, itself determined by the fluke of the decimal places in π.


This creation constitutes part of the ‘πpictorial’ project. π = 3,141592653589. It brings together pieces created based on the mathematical precept of pi. Each decimal place is translated as an angle by degrees. For each straight segment there is a matching neon curve. Curves, neons and surfaces painted in colours are named ‘πrococo’. Thus this strict, rigorous system of straight lines assumes the poetic appearance of an infinite array of shining stars. The starting point for this line which renders visible the mystery of the infinite, finds a home in the city of Tours on the north façade of the SNCF management next to the station building. Then it moves onto the façade of the School of Fine Art in Bourges, and in other institutions and other cities in France and Germany. With the possibility of indefinite installation, this project is another way of celebrating the year 2000 without resorting to shows of spectacle.


The exhibition space of the CCC houses several series of painted canvasses which represent on a number of levels the way ‘πpiquant’ was designed, how each direction is realised by a segment and carried on to the edge of the canvas. The segments run beyond the boundaries of the frame and create a potentially infinite network of lines onto which the curves of ‘πrococo’ are superimposed. Two extensions of red and blue neon tubes are the physical version of ‘πpictorials’. They echo the two drawings on the walls and represent almost the picture rails for the exhibition space, and they literally represent a sketch of the whole project.


Created in partnership with Schloß Morsbroich City Museum in Leverkusen, near Düsseldorf in Germany.