SINGAPORE.- Art Plural Gallery
announces the first solo exhibition of acclaimed French artist Bernar Venet in Singapore.
New York-based French artist Bernar Venet has been exploring the notions of indetermination, disorder, chance, and unpredictability with perseverance for decades.
For this exhibition, Bernar Venet is showing new sculptural reliefs from his GRIB series, an extension of the original wooden Indeterminate Lines that were developed between 1979 and 1983. The works included in this show were made from 35mm steel plates torch-cut by hand. The technique adds to the unpredictable nature of these scribbles and gives these works a rougher character and more accessibility than their predecessors. The scribbling of the GRIB wall pieces logically connects the action of drawing in a random two-dimensional gesticulation and the physicality of a precise three-dimensional figure. With these new works, Bernar Venet sees a very wide field of possibilities and new propositions.
Another highlight of the exhibition is the selection of paintings of mathematical equations set in free plastic forms, a perfect synthesis of Art and Mathematics. Part of his latest series, his Saturation and Shaped Canvases comprise mathematical formulas that boast a total degree of abstraction. Pushing his painting process beyond the conventional confines, Venet layers equations on top of one another and has started using colour because: Gallery walls are generally white. Colour has the basic function of elevating my figures from the wall. If I choose a background colour, yellow for example, the visual impact is that much greater than if I paint my diagrams on a white background. The signalling effect is much stronger. One understands that this is a work of art, that it is not simply a text written on the wall, with the aim simply of informing.
Today, I have much more freedom in my choice of subjects. I select them for their originality, for their remoteness, on the visual level, from anything, as far as I know, that other artists have ever painted.
- Bernar Venet
Born in France, Bernar Venet is one of the most influential contemporary artists of our time. During the summer of 2011, Venet unveiled his monumental sculptures in a solo exhibition at the Château de Versailles in France, becoming one of only five contemporary artists to be given the honour.
Originally known for his early radical gestures, Venet moved from Nice to New York in 1966 where, over the course of the following four decades, he has continued to explore painting, poetry, film, and performance, and was known for creating abstract pieces that make reference to the language of mathematical concepts and scientific theories, bridging pure science as a subject for art. Having taught at La Sorbonne in Paris in 1976, Venet is one of the most prominent names in Conceptual Art. 1979 marked a turning point in Venets career, when he began a series of wood reliefs, Arcs, Angles, Straight Lines, and created the first of his Indeterminate Lines. That same year, he was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. The artist has also experimented with non-visual works, such as performances, conferences, tape recordings. Venet is represented in many important public and private collections all over the world.
In 1987, for the 750th Anniversary of the City of Berlin, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Air France commissioned a sculpture, 124.5˚ Arc, which was installed at Alexanderplatz, near the clock on Urania Platz. In 1994, Jacques Chirac, then the Mayor of Paris, invited Venet to present twelve sculptures from his Indeterminate Line series on the Champ de Mars, which afterwards developed into a world tour in Asia, Europe, North and South America. This international traveling sculpture exhibition continues to tour with its most recent venues being Frankfurt, Germany; Auckland, New Zealand; Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.
Venet continued to work on his paintings, and in 2000, created a new series of wall paintings, Major Equations. He has since exhibited his Equation and Saturation paintings all over the world, and was named Chevalier de la Légion dHonneur in 2001.
In 2006, to celebrate the bicentennial of the Cour des Comptes located in the Palais Cambon in Paris, Bernar Venet was chosen by the French Ministry of Culture to paint a 34-meter long Saturation on the ceiling of the Galerie Philippe Séguin. In May of 2010, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France inaugurated a 30-meter tall sculpture, Neuf Lignes Obliques, to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Nice's reunification with France.
Recent retrospectives of Bernar Venets works were mounted at the Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst in Duisburg, Germany; Institut Valencià d'Art Moderne (IVAM) in Valencia, Spain; Seoul Museum of Art (SOMA) in Seoul, Korea; Hôtel des Arts, Toulon, France, and Mücsarnok Kunsthalle in Budapest, Hungary.
To date, the number of Venets solo exhibitions amounts to no less than 250. His work can be found in more than 70 museums worldwide, including such notable institutions as The Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles). Bernar Venet has also received commissions for sculptures permanently installed in Auckland, Austin, Bergen, Berlin, Denver, Geneva, Neu-Ulm, Nice, Norfolk, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Shenzhen, Strasbourg, Tokyo, Toulouse, and most recently at the Gibbs Farm in New Zealand.