Born in 1926 in Saint-Martin-Boulogne, Joël Stein passed away in 2012 in Foucarville, France.
Joël Stein is a major figure in kinetic art and was one of the founding members, in 1960, of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV), with François Morellet, Jean-Pierre Yvaral, Julio Le Parc, Francisco Sobrino and Horacio Garcia-Rossi.
At the heart of the artistic experimentation of the time, he explored visual phenomena involving mathematical algorithms and created labyrinths and manipulable objects, where the spectator participated in the activation of the work. Part of his work on grids and frames is collected in the album Jeu de trames (1962), with a preface by Pierre Schaeffer. Alongside Yvaral, Joël Stein worked with the film maker Henri- Georges Clouzot and designed the special effects for the films L’Enfer (1964, unfinished) and La Prisonnière (1968). These cinematographic collaborations were part of an important group exhibition Devil in the Flesh: When Op Art electrifies the cinema organised by the MAMAC in Nice in 2019.