Bernar Venet

 ( 1941, Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban)

Born in 1941, in Château Arnoux Saint Auban, France
Lives and works between USA and France.


Bernar Venet is one of the few French artists to settle in the early 60's in United States of America, where he exhibited with artists such as Donald Judd, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson and Frank Stella, major figures of the minimal and conceptual art in USA and Europe. On his return in France, Bernar Venet participated as a pioneer in the expansion of this current, by developing research on mathematical code and diagrams.

Awards and Honors

2016     Lifetime Achievement Award

2014     Inauguration of the Bernar Venet Foundation in Le Muy, France.

2013     The Post of the French Republic issued stamp of Bernar Venet works exhibited in Versailles, in 2011

2010     Inauguration of monumental installations by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in Bordeaux

2008     Sotheby's organized for the first time a solo show of an artist, including 25 monumental pieces of                Venet

2006     Sculpture Award Robert Jacobsen, Würth Foundation

2007     Inauguration of the roof of the gallery of Palais Cambon by the French President Jacques Chirac

2005     Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur

1997     Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Salzburg, Austia

1996     Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

1989      Grand Prix of Arts of the city of Paris
"He's waiting for the age of mathematics to come!"
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night

"- Not virtual.
- Without illusion.
- Without appearance.
- Nor metaphor.
- Self-referential."

Bernar Venet

This poem of five verses by Bernar Venet serves as a statement. In four negations and one affirmation, the artist describes himself as well as the body of his work in its entirety. To paraphrase Raymond Queneau, we might see in this a small portable cosmology connecting the part (the poem, the painting, or the film) with the whole. Moreover, if we weigh the range of forms his artistic expression has taken, we cannot help but recognize both the intellectual discipline Venet has subjected himself to, and the great coherence that underpins his oeuvre, from its early days to the present: tar paintings done on canvas, paper and cardboard; industrial paintings on cardboard; black mirrors; representational outlines for future works of art; industrial drawings; mathematical formulas painted out on canvas; photographic blow-ups and photographs; artist's books; shaped canvases that display a spare aesthetic; reliefs done in wood and steel Scribs; sculptures in steel and Cor-Ten; and after 2000, MRI images; paintings of mathematical formulas and saturations over coloured backgrounds of yellow, blue, red, golden brown, pearl and copper, along with shaped canvases based on these same diagrams; not to mention the films, musical compositions, stage sets and choreographed ballets.

Within frameworks that he defines in these terms, "Not virtual/Without illustration/Without appearance/Nor metaphor/Self-referential," Venet has developed a series of artworks whose value is reinforced by his tendency to work across disciplines. This drive to break down boundaries borrows from Edgar Morin the notion of complementarity, which points to an understanding of the complexity of reality. As an artist-theoretician, Venet has built up an oeuvre in a counterintuitive way to such a degree that each element makes sense, each comes to validate the reasoning and existence of the preceding ones. We must recognize, along with Brian O'Doherty, that "each of his works delivers a patent of inevitability."

Looking over fifty years of activity since 1961, I realized that it was essential to go back over the principles which Venet grounds his work in and which continue to govern the design of his paintings and sculptures today. The present text aims to provide the keys, the main constituent elements, with a number of supporting statements by Venet and some of the critics who have commented on his work.

Alexandre Devals,
from Bernar Venet or Paradoxical Geometry, Ceysson Éditions d'Art, 2016.
Solo shows at Ceysson Gallery
Bernar Venet, Luxembourg
March 21 - May 24, 2015

Bernar Venet, Wandhaff
March 21 - July 25, 2015

Bernar Venet, Wandhaff
May 25 - July 27, 2019

Group shows at Ceysson Gallery
Sculptures, Matters, Materials, Textures..., Offsite
September 10 - October 16, 2016

10 YEARS in Luxembourg, Wandhaff
June 02 - August 04, 2018

Tribute to Vicky Rémy, Offsite
July 13 - July 14, 2019

Solo Shows (selection)

Bernar Venet: Indeterminacy, Blain Southern, Berlin, Germany
Bernar Venet: In Relation: Performance / Sculpture / Painting, De Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, China
Bernar Venet, Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Wandhaff, Luxembourg
Angles, Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden

L'Hypothèse du Point, Guy Pieters Gallery, Knokke-Heist, Belgium
L'Hypothèse de l'Angle, Guy Pieters Gallery, Knokke-Heist, Belgium
Bernar Venet, Retrospective 2019-1959, Musée d’art contemporain (MAC), Lyon, France
Bernar Venet, The Conceptual Years, Musée d’Art moderne et d’Art contemporain (MAMAC), Nice, France
Bernar Venet. D’encre et de papier. Estampes originales 1971-2017, Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier, Paris, France

RAW: Portraits of Artists, French Cultural Center, Boston, USA
Looking Forward: 1961-1984, Blain|Southern, Londres, UK
Bernar Venet at Cliveden, Taplow, Buckinghamshire, UK
Arcs, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, USA
Angles, gravures et charbon, l'Orangerie, centre d'art contemporain, Bastogne, Belgium.
RAW: Portraits of Artists, French Cultural Center, Boston, USA
Bernar Venet: Les origines 1961-1966 , L'Espace de l'art concret, Mouans-Sartoux, France
Looking Forward: 1961-1984, Blain|Southern, London, UK
Bernar Venet at Cliveden, 10 sculptures at Cliveden National Trust, Taplow, Buckinghamshire, UK

Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, USA.
Galería Cayón, Madrid, Spain.
RAW: portraits d'artistes, Galerie rue Visconti, Paris, France.
Custot Gallery Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Bernar Venet: Les origines 1961-1966, L'Espace de l'art concret, Mouans-Sartoux, France.

Bernar Venet, Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Wandhaff, Luxembourg.
Bernar Venet: metametria, Vass Collection, Budapest, Hungary
Bernar Venet, Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, Venice, Italy
Il caos come principio sottovalutato dell'ordine (Chaos as an underestimated principle of order), Giorgio Persano, Turin, Italy
Mathematica, Michael Fuchs Galerie, Berlin, Germany

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.
Bernar Venet, Sculptures and Drawings, Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong.
Homage to Kurt Gödel. A tribute to abstract thinking, Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg, Germany.
Bernar Venet, Maquettes, Strandverket Art Museum, Marstrand, Sweden.
Hypothèse du point, Espace Jacques Villeglé de Saint Gratien, Saint Gratien, France.
Bernar Venet, L'hypothèse de l'arc, Bartha Garage, Basel, Switzerland.
Bernar Venet, Hyundai Gallery, Seoul, South Korea.

84 Arcs/Désordre, Palais du Pharo, Marseille, France.
Sculptures in Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Bernar Venet: Paintings. Homage to Al-Khawarizmi, Abbazia di San Gregorio, Venice, Italy.
Les origines, Musée Regards de Provence, Marseille, France.
Ace Gallery, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California, United States.

Mücsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest, Hungary.
Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.
Bernar Venet: Paintings: 1967 - 2010, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong.
Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland.
Art Plural Gallery, Singapore.

Bernar Venet à Versailles, Château de Versailles et dans le Domaine de Marly, sous le commissariat de Bernard Marcadé, Paris, France.
Bernar Venet in Sugarland, Oyster Creek Park, Sugar Land, Texas, USA.
Ludwig Museum im Deutschherrenhaus, Koblenz, Germany.
Fondation Poppy & Pierre Salinger, le Thor, France.
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Valenciennes, France.
Von Bartha Garage, Basel, Switzerland.

Hermann Park, in collaboration with Robert McClain Gallery, Houston, Texas, USA.
Galerie Pièce Unique, Paris, France.
Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM), curated by Barbara Rose, Valencia, Spain. curated by Barbara Rose.
Bernar Venet: Homage to Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.
Le monde de Bernar Venet, Venet in context, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France.
Bernar Venet, Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden.

Schinkel Pavillon, in collaboration with Galerie Haas & Fuchs, Berlin, Germany.
Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR), Brussels, Belgium.
Arsenale Novissimo, 53rd Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.
Galerie Guy Pieters, Knokke-Heist, Belgium.

Isleworth Country Club, Sotheby's exhibition, Orlando, Florida, USA.
Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, California, USA.
Forsblom Galerie, Helsinki, Finland.
Eaton Fine Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA.
Bernar Venet in San Diego, California, USA.

Retrospective 1961-2006, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South-Korea.
Artcurial, Paris, France.
Bernar Venet : Sculptures in Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.
Bernar Venet : Sculptures in Metz, Metz, France.
Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden.
Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Duisburg, Germany.
Centre européen d'actions artistiques contemporaines, Strasbourg, France.
L'Arsenal, Metz, France.

Museum, Kunsthalle Würth, Künzelsau, Germany.
Gary Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.
Robischon Gallery, Denver, Colorado, United States.
Sculptures in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
William Shearburn Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, France.
Galerie Haas Fuchs, Berlin, Germany.
Robert Miller Gallery, New York, USA.
Musée Sainte-Croix, Poitiers, France.

Galerie La Cité, Luxembourg.
Gallery Camino Real, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
Musée d'Art moderne et d'Art contemporain (MAMAC), Nice, France.
Bernar Venet aux Tuileries, Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, France.

Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris, France.
Galerie Academia, Salzburg, Austria.
Robert Miller Gallery, New York, USA.

Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janiero, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Centre d'Art Contemporain Georges Pompidou, Cajarc, France.
Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain - Mamco, Geneva, Switzerland.
Galerie Kaj Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland.
Museu Brasileiro da Escultura, São Paulo, Brazil.

Musée d'Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne, Saint-Étienne, France.
Galleria Karsten Greve, Milan, Italy.
Galleria Persano, Torino, Italy.

Musée de Peinture et de Sculpture, Grenoble, France.
Galerie Karsten Greve, Milan, Italy.
Musée du Québec, Québec, Canada.
Hyundai Gallery, Seoul, South-Korea.

Shanghai Museum of Art, Shanghai, China.
Hong Kong Museum of Art, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Nice, France.
André Emmerich Gallery, New York, United States.
Centre d'art contemporain de Châteauroux, Châteauroux, France.
Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Musée d'Art Moderne, Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France.

Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, New York, USA.
Galerie Eric Van de Weghe, Brussels, Belgium.
Galeria Oscar Ascanio, Caracas, Venezuela.
Fred Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
Brent Sikkema Fine Arts, Black, New York, USA.

Noir/Noir 1963, Centre d'art contemporain, Troyes, France.
Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France.
Galerie Van de Velde, Anvers, Belgium.
Ronald Greenberg Gallery, Saint-Louis, USA.

Galerie Pierre Huber, Geneva, Switzerland.
Quadrat Museum-Moderna Gallery, Bottrop, Germany.

The Bonlow Gallery, New York, USA.
Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France.
Malinda Wyatt Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.

ARCO Center for Visual Arts, Los Angeles, USA.
Hal Bromm Gallery, New York, USA.
Marianne Deson Gallery, Chicago, USA.

Special Project at PS1, Long Island City, New York, USA.

Musée d'Art et d'industie, Saint-Étienne, France.
Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France.
Bruno Bischofberger Gallery, Zürich, Switzerland.
Sonja Hennie-Niels Onstad Foundation, Hovikodden, Norway.

La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, California, USA.

Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, United-Kingdom.
Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
XIIIth Biennale, São Paulo, Brazil.
Galerie Hetzler Keller, Stuttgart, Germany.
Galleria Nuovi Strumenti Arte Contemporanea, Brescia, Italy.

Galleria la Seconda Scala, Rome, Italy.
Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France.

Bruno Bischofberger Gallery, Zürich, Switzerland.
Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France.
Galerie Daniel Templon, Milan, Italy.

Galerie Der Spiegel, Cologne, Germany.
X-One Gallery, Anvers, Belgium.
Loeb Student Center, New York Univeristy, Peter Caws PhD. Lecture on: Structure as a necessary and sufficient condition of Intelligibility (performance), New York, USA.
Retrospective, New York Cultural Center, NY, USA.
Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France.
Galerie Daniel Templon, Milan, Italy.

Haus Lange Museum Krefeld, Krefeld, Germany.
OK Harris Gallery, New York, USA.
Kunsthaus, Hamburg, Germany.
Studio Santandrea, Milan, Italy.

Relativity's Track, Judson Church Theater, New York, USA.

Musée d'Art Moderne de Céret, France.
Galerie Jacques Matarasso, Nice, France.

Galerie Ursula Girardon, Paris, France.

Group shows (selection)

Spring Break, Custot Gallery Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Friends, etc. La Collection Pierre Keller, Musée Jenisch, Vevey, Switzerland
Le pressentiment de mon indiscipline, Galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou, Paris, France

De Calder à Koons, Bijoux d’artistes: La collection idéale de Diane Venet, Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, France
Art & Jewelry, Custot Gallery Dubai, Dubai, U.A.E.
Enchanté, Lieu d’Art et Action Contemporaine de Dunkerque (LAAC), Dunkirk, France
Wealth. Black is Gold, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany
A propos de Nice : 1947 – 1977, in conjunction with “The French May”, Hong Kong
Sculpture Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Art & Coal - Tribute to Jannis Kounellis, MKM Museum Küppersmühle of Modern Art, Duisburg, Germany

Rites of Spring, LongHouse Reserve, East Hampton, New York
A propos de Nice : 1947-1977, MAMAC, Nice, France
Black, White..., Custot Gallery Dubai, Dubai, U.A.E.
It is Just a Beginning, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy
Twenty Years at 23rd and 10th, Jim Kempner Fine Art, New York
Nicolas Aubagnac | 20 ans, Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier, Paris, France
Nice All Over, Galerie Helenbeck, Nice, France
Lettres Ouvertes, de la calligraphie au street art, Institut des cultures d'Islam, Paris, France
Estampes modernes & contemporaines - De Pablo Picasso à Bernar Venet, Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier, Paris, France

Sculptures, Matières, Matériaux, Textures..., Hors les murs, Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Luxembourg
The World Meets Here, Custot Gallery Dubai, Dubai, U.A.E.
Focus on Sculpture in the Würth Collection, Würth Haus Rorschach, Rorschach, Switzerland
Art on Board, Mathematische Fachbibliothek der TU Berlin, Germany
Opening of the New Jakobshallen Exhibition Rooms, Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg, Germany
Arte alle Corti, Palazzo Cisterna, Turin, Italy

Art System, C.A.Y.C., Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Collection de M. & Mme. B.,Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Paris, France.
VIIth Paris Biennal, Parc Floral de Paris, Paris, France.
Concept-Théorie, Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France.
Arte Concettuale, Galerie Daniel Templon, Milan, Italy.
Performance Lecture by Peter Caws, at Loeb Student Center, New York University, New York, USA.

Conceptual art and conceptual aspect, New York Cultural Center, NY, USA.
Informations, MoMA, NY, USA.
Conceptual Art / Land Art / Arte Povera, Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin, Italy.
Kunst nach Planen, Kunsthaus, Hamburg, Germany.
Artists and Photography, Multiple Gallery, New York, USA.
Painting and Sculpture Today, Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Toledo, Ohio, USA.
Recorded Activities, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Festival of Contemporary Art, Municipal Museum of Art, Yokohama and Sun Building Art Gallery, Morioka, Japan.

New York Art 1969, Miami University, Ohio, USA.
Performance with Vito Acconci, John Perreault, and Arakawa, The Theater, New York, USA.
Art by telephone, Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, USA.
Moratorium, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, USA.
Number 7, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, USA.
New Acquisitions, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California, USA.
Conception-Konzeption, Leverkusen, Germany.
Art selon plan, Kunsthalle, Berne, Switzerland.
Alexandre Devals, foreword by Bernard Ceysson, Bernar Venet, Ceysson Éditions d'Art, Saint Étienne, France.

Sausset, Damien, Robert Arnoux et Alexandre Devals, Venet Foundation, Couleurs Contemporaines / Bernard Chauveau Éditeur, Paris, France.

Davila, Thierry and Erik Verhagen, Bernar Venet - Sculpture, Editions du Regard, Paris, France.

Pégard, Catherine, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, Bernar Venet, Bernard Teyyssèdre, Versailles 2011, Editions du Regard, Paris, France.
Devals, Alexandre and Olivier Schefer, Bernar Venet. Paintings, Edizioni Charta, Milan, Italy.

Altieri, Gilles, Olivier Schefer, Bernar Venet, Peintures 2001-2011, Hôtel des Arts, Toulon, France.
Marcadé, Bernard, Brian O'Doherty, Venet - Versailles, Editions du Regard, Paris, France.
Schefer, Olivier, Bernar Venet: Paintings 1961-2011: A Retrospective, Seoul, South Korea.

Davila, Thierry (ed.), La conversion du regard, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland.
Laks, Déborah, L'hypothèse de la ligne droite, Editions de la Différence, Paris, France.
Rose, Barbara, La paradoja de la coherencia / The paradox of coherence, La imprenta & Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM), Valencia, Spain.

Arnoux, Robert, Bernar Venet: L'expérience du Muy, Somogy, Paris, France.
Marcelis, Bernard, Bernar Venet: Oeuvre sculpté, Somogy, Paris, France.
van der Marck, Jan, Bernar Venet: Sculpture in Urban Landscapes, Sotheby's, New York.

Peynot, Jean-Philippe, Bernar Venet: 1 pour 1, Archibooks éditeur - Collection Voix, France.
Venet, Bernar, "Poème", in Art conceptuel, une entologie, éditions mix, Paris.

Lenain, Thierry, preface by Thomas McEvilley, Bernar Venet. Flammarion, Paris, France.
Moreau, Roland and Jean-Louis Schefer, Bernar Venet, Hommage à l'acier. Assouline, Paris, France.

Goldberg, RoseLee, Enrico Pedrini and Damien Sausset, Bernar Venet: Performances, etc. 1961-2006, Charta, Milan, Italy.

Bata, Philippe, L'hypothèse de l'Arc, Editions Un, Deux, Quatre / Centre d'Art contemporain intercommunal d'Istres.

Venet Bernar, Art: A Matter of Context. Bernar Venet: Writings 1975-2003. Hard Press Editions, Lenox, Massachussetts.

Kuspit, Donald, Bernar Venet. The Sublime in Mathematics, (French and English editions) L'Yeuse, Paris, France.
Lenain, Thierry, Bernar Venet: 1961-1963: l'immanence mise en chantier, Les Presses du Réel, Paris, France.
McEvilley, Thomas, Bernar Venet (English edition). Benteli Verlag, Switzerland; Artha, Paris, France.

McEvilley, Thomas, Bernar Venet (French and German editions). Benteli Verlag, Switzerland; Artha, Paris, France.

Lorent, Claude, Bernar Venet: Furniture. Assouline, Paris, France.

Besson, Christian and Bernar Venet, La Conversion du regard, Textes entretiens, 1975-2000, Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland.
Pierre, Arnauld, Bernar Venet "Le discours et la méthode". Prearo Editore, Milan, Italy.
Venet, Bernar, SURSATURATION. Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou, Carjarc, France.
van der Marck, Jan, Bernar Venet, Global Diagonals. e-speed, New York.

Morgan, Robert, Bernar Venet 1961-1970. Editions des Cahiers Intempestifs, St. Etienne, France.
Venet, Bernar, Apoétiques 1967-1998. Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland.

Ratcliff, Carter, Bernar VENET. Cercle d'Art, Paris, France; Abbeville Press, New York.

Schefer, Jean-Louis, Noir, noir et noir, photographs 1963-1990. Éditions Marval, Paris, France.
Venet, Bernar, Combinaisons aléatoires de lignes indéterminées. Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France.

Kuspit, Donald, Bernar Venet. Art Random, Kyoto Shoin International Company, Ltd., Kyoto, Japan.

van der Marck, Jan, VENET. Éditions de la Différence, Paris, France.

d'Amore, Bruno, Thierry Kuntzel, and Filiberto Menna, Textes Théoriques sur Bernar Venet. Edizioni Nuov Strumenti, Brescia, Italy.
Kuntzel, Thierry, Logique du Neutre. Arthur Hubschmid, Paris, France.

Millet, Catherine, Bernar Venet. Éditions du Chêne, Paris, France.

Abstract Arabesque

Canvas -

November 27, 2019

Bernar Venet fait étape au Luxembourg

Connaissance des arts - Marie Maertens

June 15, 2019

d'Lëtzebuerger Land - Lucien Kayser

June 07, 2019

Bernar Venet in pictures

Art Newspaper - Bernard Marcelis

June 05, 2019

Bernar Venet stops in Luxembourg

Connaissance des Arts - Marie Maertens

May 22, 2019

Bernar Venet, le colosse aux pieds d'acier

La Gazette Drouot - Annick Colonna-Césari

October 19, 2018

Bernar Venet, en grand

The Art Newspaper - Bernard Marcelis

September 28, 2018

International artists for exhibitions XXL

Luxemburger Wort - Nathalie Becker

September 14, 2016

Bernar Venet

Bernar Venet

July 15, 2019

Bernar Venet Portrait

Bernar Venet Portrait

June 21, 2019

Sculptures, Matters, Materials, Textures... Foetz, Luxembourg

Sculptures, Matters, Materials, Textures... Foetz, Luxembourg

September 10, 2016