“Classification of the Works”, Selections (1977)


Principle whereby elements are placed regularly, without superimposition, on a surface that they occupy entirely. These elements may be all alike (and form a grid), or differ in one of their characteristics (the modification of which characteristic is systematic).

1) Grid

All regular and infinite juxtapositions or superimpositions of identical elements.

2) System

Simple and arbitrary rule governing a work or series of works. All systematic painting, however, involves an arbitrary choice (such as the choice of material),

a) parallels

b) identical and/or complementary shapes

c) colors.


Principle whereby identical grids, inclined at different angles, entirely occupy a two- or three-dimensional space,

a) grids on grids:

1. flat and static (paintings, meshes)

2. flat and mobile (shapeshifting grids)

3. in space and mobile (sphere-grids).

b) short-lived grids on any given surface or in any given space.


Principle whereby the decision in a choice (the position of an

element, the color of a surface, etc.) is made by a system

using a series of any given numbers, such as the numbers in

a telephone directory, the digits of π (3, 14…), etc.

a) shapes

b) colors

c) lines:

1. paintings,

2. lights (in the Münster and Kiel catalogue).


Principle using the juxtaposition or superimposition of groups of elements that are identical but do not share the same interval. These elements may be interferential in space (lines, structures) or in time (lights),

a) lines:

1. paintings, wires,

2. lights (in the Münster and Kiel catalogue),

b) structures.


Principle whereby the same line is drawn on multiple independent supports (separated after drawing, separated or tilted before drawing),

a) broken lines,

b) interrupted lines,

c) continuous lines.

Translated by Daniel Levin Becker. © Dia Art Foundation. English translation originally published in Béatrice Gross with Stephen Hoban, eds., François Morellet (New York: Dia Art Foundation, 2019), p. 202-203. Originally published as “Classification des œuvres,” in François Morellet (Berlin: Nationalgalerie Berlin, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, 1977), pp. 75–76.