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The Venet Foundation opens exhibition of works by Fred Sandback
Installation view of Fred Sandback's exhibition at Venet Foundation. © Photo: Xinyi Yu.

LE MUY .- The Minimalist artist Fred Sandback (1943-2003) made sculptures from wire, elastic cord, and more generally colored yarn stretched in space.

He first appeared on the art scene in 1967 and starting in 1968 took part in all of the major exhibitions of the minimalist scene. He also had a number of solo shows, notably at the Haus Lange Krefeld, the epicenter of the avant-garde in the 1960s.

An elastic straight line stretched between the floor and the ceiling reveals no structure, no tools for maintaining it—and gives the illusion of a thin rod balanced on one end. The beauty this mystery brings about endlessly fills us with wonder. The tension is gentle, not aggressive; it is induced but without being emphasized. The question of tension arises by comparing the sculpture in space with the ball of yarn it comes from.

The show features six sculptures produced between 1970 and 2002, along with a collection of prints from 1976, “four variations of two diagonal lines,” and a group of 22 original drawings presenting a like number of variations. Preliminary drawings were essential to Sandback’s process since his works require a large space for display. To make up for the difficulties of installing the works, Sandback relied on drawings to project on paper the threads designed for the limited spaces of galleries and museums.

Curated by Alexandre Devals, director of the Venet Foundation.

Since 2014, each year, from approximately mid-June until mid-September, this unique site located on some nine acres of the French countryside offers visitors an original tour of a “total work of art” designed by one of the most famous French artists in the world, Bernar Venet, in collaboration with his wife Diane, as an exceptional setting for the collection.

The expanded sculpture park presents monumental artworks by Bernar Venet and the other artists who figure in the foundation’s collection (Tony Cragg, Anthony Caro, Philip King, Frank Stella...), the Stella Chapel created on site by Frank Stella (2014) and two installations by James Turrell (2016). The tour is completed each year by a summer exhibition in the gallery and an exhibition of some of Bernar Venet's works in the factory.

The Venet Foundation also hosts Diane and Bernar Venet’s collection of minimal and conceptual art (which includes works by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner, Richard Long, and others), one of the most important such collections in the world.

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