Francois Monnet

Galerie Gabriel / Francois Monnet

Francois Monnet (1946 —)

Monnet grew up in the 1960s and was inspired by the artistic atmosphere of that time. In the art world, a multitude of powerful changes were also taking place. Pop Art, through the works of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Tom Wesselmann, was progressively dismantling the foundations upon which the production and reception of art were built by embracing mass media culture. Drawing inspiration from popular culture imagery and mass consumption, pop artists challenged the authority of high art and created an avant-garde movement. Simultaneously, minimalism rejected any form of emotional expression and focused on the theoretical aspects of art, aiming for pure visual responses. Simplicity and the absence of emotions were key concepts of the highly influential Minimalist movement, embodied by artists like Frank Stella, Donald Judd, and Agnes Martin.

Less concerned with the gestural elements of abstract expressionism, minimalist artists concentrated on creating artworks primarily composed of clean, sharp lines and geometric elements. The very first emergence of conceptualism was strongly influenced by the purity of minimalism but went further by rejecting all preexisting conceptions inherent to art, akin to what pop artists were attempting to achieve by elevating popular culture to the status of high art.