Montreal’s François Morelli is a polymath senior artist with his MFA from Rutgers University (1983) in New Jersey. Morelli is a Professor of Art and the Graduate Program Director at Concordia University, Montreal; he has been actively exhibiting across Canada and internationally for over 30 years. He has an extensive showing history of sculpture, performance, video and, most recently, massive drawings. During formative periods, while teaching, commuting long hours and building a family he used ink watercolour and paper to express and process. Never shown publicly, these works from mid 1980s to early 2000s are delicate and beautiful drawings with deep connections to past and future work. Repeated use of armature–like forms echoes his performative sculptures and rubber stamped print works, his later work on the Belt Head series of performative drawing and print and the mammoth pink drawings done during a 6 month residency in New York City in 2011.
Morelli is best known for his hybrid sculptural/graphic installations and peripatetic performances. He develops found imagery and objects into web-like structures that sprawl and engage with architecture and social space. His intimate drawings and discreet sculptures, while focusing on the human figure, address its psychology, sexuality and power relationships. François’ project, Home Wall Drawing (l’art de manger) (2004), conducted in France, involved the barter of 22 rubber-stamped wall drawings in people’s homes for home-cooked meals. Table d’hôte (2007), at the Hamilton Art Gallery, used hand-stamped porcelain plates to address the fragility of domestic space through ornamentation and pattern. Hand to Mouth Drawing (2008) incorporated belt-head prostheses that drew on the gallery walls.