Bernar Venet (French, b. April 20, 1941) is a notable Conceptual artist who was born in Chateau-Arnoux, France. As a young boy, he was often sick with asthma, leaving him unable to be a normal child. With the help of a local artist, Venet began to explore art. By the age of 10, Venet was drawing and painting a great deal. From 1955 to 1958, he studied at Ecole Libre and Groupe Scolaire Paul Lapie; he then studied art in Nice, France, at La Villa Thiole. In 1959, Venet began working as a stage designer at Opera de Nice. At this time, Venet was painting highly stylized paintings. He joined the French Army in 1961, when he also began a style of tar art that he called his "fetichist works." He returned to Nice, France, in 1963 to open a studio to continue his tar art. Around this time, he also started to photograph coal and gravel piles, and sculpted his first sculpture, Coal Paile.

In 1966, Venet made his first trip to New York City, where he was influenced by the Minimalist artwork he viewed in galleries. After returning to Nice, he began to work on mono-semiotic works and diagrams. He created Graduation, a ballet performed on a vertical surface. He later decided to move to New York City permanently. After working on Conceptual and Minimalist pieces, in 1971, Venet decided to cease his artistic work. During his break from art, Venet traveled throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. In 1974, he taught art and art theory in Sorbonne, France. At this time, he often lectured throughout Europe. He returned to New York City in 1976, and began his first piece of the series titled Angles and Arcs.

Through the late 1970s and early 1980s, Venet exhibited works such as Documenta VI and From Nature to Art. He also began sculpting at Atelier Marioni in France in 1984. As his sculpting continued, Venet was asked to help bring his ballet Graduation into production at the Paris Opera in 1988. At this time, he took an interest in music as well. Throughout the 1990s, Venet composed various musical compositions, including Resonance and Sound. In 2000, Venet exhibited his Major Equations series at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He continues to produce works in all media, including painting, music, and sculptures, that are exhibited across the world.

Timeline

1941
Born in Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban, France
1955–1958
Studied at the Ecole Libre and Groupe Scolaire Paul Lapie, Saint-Aubon, France
1958–1959
Studied art at La Villa Thiole, Nice, France
1959–1961
Worked as stage-director, Opera de Nice, France
1961–1962
Military Service, French Army, Algeria
1966
Moved to New York, USA
1988
Design Award for Sculpture, Norfolk, USA
1990
Grand Prix des Arts de La Ville de Paris, France
1991
Creates several musical compositions including Random Sound and Resonance, a made in collaboration with the army at the 4th RIMA, Fréjus, France
1996
Master in Residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, USA
1997
Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Salzburg, Austria
2005
Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, France

Exhibitions

2013
Bernar Venet at Meijer Gardens, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, USA
Premio Internacional Julio González. Bernar Venet, Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, Valencia, Spain
2012
Bernar Venet: Maquettes, Grafik, Unikate, 5 Jahre Galerie im Venet-Haus in Neu-Ulm 2007 – 2012, Fischerplatz Galerie, Ulm, Germany
Bernar Venet, 5 Jahre Galerie im Venet-Haus in Neu-Ulm, Galerie im Venet-Haus Neu-Ulm, Neu-Ulm, Germany
Bernar Venet, Art Plural Gallery Pte Ltd, Singapore
Bernar Venet Paintings:1967-2010, de Sarthe Gallery, Paradise Valley, USA
2011
Bernar Venet at the Palace Gardens, Versailles, France
Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (solo)
Bernar Venet, von Bartha Collection, Basel, Switzerland
Bernar Venet Sculpture Garden at Oyster Creek Park in Sugar Land, McClain Gallery, Houston, USA
2010
Hermann Park, Houston, USA, in collaboration with Robert McClain Gallery (solo)
Galerie Pièce Unique, Paris, France (solo)
Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, Valencia, Spain (solo)
Bernar Venet: Homage to Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria (solo)
Le monde de Bernar Venet, Venet in context, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France (solo)
Form in Transition: Sculptors Making Prints and Drawings, Saint Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, USA
Sculptors Celebrate the Legacy of Frederik and Lena Meijer, Frederik Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids Charter Township, USA
2009
L'arte è una parola, Galleria Il Ponte Firenze, Florence, Italy
Vivre l'art: Collection Venet, Espace de l'art concret, Mouans-Sartoux, France
Blickachsen 7, Bad Homburg Kurpark and Castle Gardens, Germany
Von Arman bis Andy Warhol: Die Neuen Meisterwerke im Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany
Museum im Deutschherrenhaus, Koblenz, Germany
TILT, Musée de l'hospice Saint-Roch, Issoudun, France
Encuentros de Pamplona 72: Fin de fiesta del arte experimental, Museuo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
Im kleinen Format, Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg, Germany
Schinkel Pavillon, in collaboration with Galerie Haas & Fuchs, Berlin, Germany (solo)
Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR), Brussels, Belgium (solo)
Arsenale Novissimo, 53rd Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (solo)
Galerie Guy Pieters, Knokke-Heist, Belgium (solo)
2008
Bernar Venet: Sotheby's at Isleworth, Isleworth Country Club, Orlando, USA (solo)
Eaton Fine Art, West Palm Beach, USA (solo)
Galerie von Bartha, S-Chanf, Switzerland (solo)
Forsblom Galerie, Helsinki, Finland (solo)
Bernar Venet in San Diego, USA (solo)
Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, USA (solo)
2007
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea (solo)
Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, South Korea (solo)
Artcurial, Paris, France (solo)
Benar Venet: Sculptures in Bordeaux, France (solo)
Bernar Venet: Sculptures in Metz, France (solo)
L'Arsenal, Metz, France (solo)
Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden (solo)
Museum Kuppersmuhle fur Moderne Kunst, Duisburg, Germany (solo)
Fischerplatz Galerie, Ulm, Germany (solo)
2006
Gary Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand (solo)
Museum/Kunsthalle Wurth, Kunzelsau, Germany (solo)
Robischon Gallery, Denver, USA (solo)
Sculptures in Forest Park, St. Louis, USA (solo)
William Shearburn Gallery, St. Louis, USA (solo)
2005
Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques, Autoportraits, Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France
2004
Lignes indéterminées - l'espace de la perturbation, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, France
Sculptures on Park Avenue, New York, USA
2003
Bernar Venet :Arcs – defined portions of curves, Galerie Scheffel and Kulturzentrum Englische Kirche, Bad Homburg, Germany
Bernar Venet aux Tuileries, Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, France
Autoportrait, Musée d'Art moderne et d'Art contemporain, Nice, France
2002
Art Omi International Art Center, New York, USA
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
2001
Inauguration of the Chapelle Saint Jean, Château-Arnoux, France
Salon du Mobilier et de l'objet design, The Caroussel du Louvre, Paris, France
Centre Européen d'Actions Artistiques Contemporain, Paris, France
2000
Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland
1999
Blickachsen 2, Skulpturen im Kurpark, Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg, Germany
L'hypothèse du Tableau Volé, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland
1998
Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia, Italy
Dix Ans de Commandes Publiques, Centre Européen d'Actions Artistiques Contemporain, Strasbourg, France
Skulpturen, Galerie Orangerie-Reinz Cologne, Germany
The French Connection: Nine French Artists Living in New York, Kent Fine Art, Kent, USA
Alex Katz and Bernar Venet: New and Recent Works, Dorfman Projects, New York, USA
Musée d’Art Moderne de St. Etienne, St. Etienne, France
1997
Blickachsen, Skulpturen im Kurpark, Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg, Germany
International 97, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, USA
Made in France 1947-1997, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
1994
Retrospective, Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogota, Colombia (solo)
1993
Retrospective, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Nice, France (solo)
1992
Public Sculpture, Adachi-ku, Tokyo, Japan
1989
Art conceptuel, Musée de l'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
1978
From Nature to Art, From Art to Nature, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1977
Recent Works, Musée d'Art Moderne de St-Etienne, St-Etienne, France
1976
Retrospective, La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, USA (solo)
1974–1975
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, England
XIII Bienal, Sao Paulo, Brazil
1971
Retrospective, New York Cultural Center, New York, USA (solo)
1964
Salon Comparaisons, Musée de l'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France

Public Collections

Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Geneva, Switzerland
Maison Européene de la Photographie, Paris, France
Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA
Fond d’Art Contemporain des Musées de Nice, Nice, France
The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
Contemporary Art Center, San Diego, CA
The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
Akron Art Institute, Akron, OH

Literature

2004
Bernar Venet – Lignes Indéterminées – L’Espace de la Perturbation. Paris: Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, 2004
2003
Kuspit, Donald. Bernar Venet : Le Sublime par les mathématiques, monographie. Paris, France: L’Yeuse, , 2003
2002
Mc Evilley, Thomas. Bernar Venet, monographie. Switzerland: Benteli Verlag; Paris: Artha, 2002
2000
Pierre, Arnauld. Bernar Venet « Le Discours et la méthode », monographie. Milan: Prearo Editore, 2000