François Morelli

A major figure in visual and performance art in Quebec, François Morelli is also considered one of the pioneers of relational art. He pursues a trans-disciplinary practice in drawing, installation, performance, print media, sculpture and painting. This polymorphous approach has been a claim for freedom and has questioned the status of an artwork through its creative process and its reception. Interested in notions of passage, circulation and transformation, his art often echoes past actions or events while examining (not only in space but also in time) relationships between the artist and society, connecting individuals or relating the individual and the artwork.


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François Morelli lives and works in Montreal. He holds a BFA from Concordia University (1975) and an MFA from Rutgers University in New Jersey (1983).

Since 1976, his work has been presented in several public museums, private galleries, artist-run centres and contemporary art events in Canada, the United States and Europe. He has exhibited at the Musée du Québec (1979), the Musée d’art de Joliette (1980), the Musée régional de Rimouski (1988 and 2019), the Centro Culturale Canadese (Italy, 1989), the Horodner Romley Gallery (New York, 1994 and 1995), La Vitrine (France, 2004), 1700 La Poste in Montréal (2016-17) and the Musée d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul (2019). He has also participated in the Biennale de Montréal (2002) and the Biennale du Havre (France, 2006). In 2007, François Morelli presented major installations at the Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art and the Hamilton Art Gallery. In 2011, he was part of the Triennale Québécoise (Musée d’art contemporain, Montréal).

He has also received numerous awards, including the Prix d’excellence at the Biennale de dessin, de l’estampe et du papier du Québec in 1993, the Prix Louis-Comtois in 2007, awarded by the City of Montreal in collaboration with the AGAC, and the prestigious Prix Ozias-Leduc in 2021, awarded by the Fondation Émile-Nelligan.

In addition to this long list of accomplishments, he is also a teacher who has travelled from New York (Rutgers University, City University of New York, State University of New York) to Trois-Rivières (UQTR) and Montreal (Concordia).

His works are part of the collections of Air Canada, Canada art bank, Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec, Library and Archives Canada, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Cirque du Soleil, Canada Council for the Arts, Colombia University Library New York, Collection Steinberg, Collection Loto-Québec, Desjardins, Fluxeum, Museum of Art, Washington, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Musée Régional de Rimouski, Musée de Joliette, New Jersey State Council for the Arts, New Jersey Rothmans of Pall Mall, University of Southern Alberta and several private collections in Canada, the United States and Europe.

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  • Tapis Volant (détail), 2008


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