born 1926 in Cholet/France, died 2016 in Cholet/France
Against the strict geometric rhythm of the interior hall’s architectural design, French artist François Morellet has set a rhythmical installation of neon tubes: starting with a tightly drawn band of bright red neon, curved yellow, green and blue neon strips hang from the ceiling like festive garlands; they lead through the hall and respond – like Ellsworth Kelly’s aluminium panels on the west façade – to the clear structure of the hall with their own cheerful, lively rhythm.
The work continues in the Marie-Elisabeth Lüders Building and concludes there with a deliberately restrained light installation: a black strip stretched across the space holds a single, angled strip of luminous white neon.
With this minimal, strikingly simple artistic intervention Morellet has created a fascinating spatial concept: barely noticeable during daylight hours, the neon tubes become more and more visible as darkness falls. Then their light fills the entire space and is refracted and reflected repeatedly in the many glazed surfaces and façades – its radiant intensity encompassing the Marie-Elisabeth Lüders Building and even the Chancellery opposite.