One of the most celebrated conceptual artists working today, Bernar Venet’s extensive oeuvre is a culmination of intellectual rigour, artistic dexterity, and creative investigation of materials ranging from coal and asphalt to steel. Venet moved from France to New York in 1966, where he was instrumental in developing a radical new artistic language using mathematics and science alongside artists such as Lawrence Weiner and Joseph Kosuth. His success was celebrated with a retrospective at the New York Cultural Center when he was just 30 years old. His signature Arcs, Angles, Straight and Indeterminate Lines spring forth from intensive mathematical studies of chance and chaos. They can be traced through his work’s evolution from drawings, to reliefs in wood and, ultimately, his famous steel sculptures. Throughout his career, Venet has employed a variety of genres including painting, photography, sound and performance to explore both material and form, as well as existential questions of perception, time and spatiality.
Venet was born in Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban, France, in 1941. Venet’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe, the United States, South America and Asia in solo museum shows, as well as in major art events such as the Kassel Documenta in 1977, and the Biennales of Paris, Venice and Sao Paulo. His numerous monumental sculptures are permanently installed around the world, in cities such as Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Strasbourg, Beijing, Nice, Austin, San Francisco, Bergen, Geneva and Cologne. Venet has received many awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center, New York (2016), the International Julio Gonzalez Prize from Valencia’s IVAM (2013) and Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (2005), France's highest decoration. After many years in New York, he now lives and works in Le Muy in Southern France.