Day 12/365 of Steel – Bernar Venet

I’ve focussed mainly on steel as a building material in my recent posts, but obviously this versatile material has also inspired internationally renowned artists.

Bernar Venet (born 20 april 1941) is a French conceptual artist known for his curved weathering steel sculptures. His versatile approach explores techniques including painting, drawing and installations.

A Sculpture in Venet Foundation in Le Muy
Fig 1: A Sculpture in Venet Foundation in Le Muy
Photo: Pascal Hausherr, France

Venet describes his works as ‘self-generated discoveries’ and keeps his mind open for new inspirations. Venet became well known in the 1960’s with his mathematically precise sculptures inspired by minimalist sculptors such as Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Dan Flavin and Arman.

Arcs in Disorder by Bernar Venet
Fig 2: Arcs in Disorder by Bernar Venet
Photo: © Bruno Bebert/Sipas

Bernar Venet understood as a child that his future would be in ART. He first worked in Nice, using materials such as tar and coal for his paintings, then cardboard for his sculptures. He moved to New York in 1967 and shared a studio with Arman, another great French-American artist. During the 1970s and 1980s, he worked hard, researched minimalist art and taught. He became increasingly successful worldwide, reaching new heights in the art of using steel beams for his giant sculptures.

A Sculpture in Venet Foundation in Le Muy
Fig 3: A Sculpture in Venet Foundation in Le Muy

Bernar Venet’s abstract sculptures are the legacy of mathematical concepts and scientific theories (he uses the know-how of engineers for his projects). The viewer can only admire the beauty of these twisted, tangled steel beams, beautifully filling the natural space of trees, sky and water.

A Sculpture in Venet Foundation in Le Muy
Fig 4: A Sculpture in Venet Foundation in Le Muy

This beauty finds its apogee in his foundation in Le Muy. An area of several hectares of lawns interrupted by singing waterfalls, a roaring river and an 18th century mill, this is a magnificent place, an ideal setting for the giant, rust-stained sculptures.

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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