Bernar Venet, one artist and his artists

12 October 2018 – 24 march 2019


Robert Morris, Sans-titre, 1969. Feutre brun.
255 x 453 cm et Robert Morris, HEDGEHOGS, 2013. Bois de hêtre. 155 x 188 x 188 cm, Collection Bernar Venet, New York, Photo : François Fernandez, © Adagp, Paris 2018

In the spring of 1966, Bernar Venet visited New York for the first time. He was met by Arman who put him up in his studio at 84 Walker Street. At the Whitney Museum, Venet was fascinated to discover the American minimalists and especially Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Sol LeWitt. The pure geometric shapes, works developed into entire series, use of industrial materials and an inclination towards impersonal forms resonated with his research. These revelations endorsed his artistic approach and prompted his move to New York at the end of the year.
Bernar Venet’s arrival in New York was the start of an exciting period which saw him forge connections with a community of artists united by the same curious mind and shared instinct for the brewing sense of artistic disruption.
The collection compiled by the artist from 1960 and now housed by the Venet Foundation is a testament to this period of unique emulation, this network of artists and new-found friendships. The major pieces of minimal and conceptual art assembled here provide, in counterpoint to the monographic exhibition, an immersion into these years, and a rough sketch of the portrait of an artist plying his craft at the centre of a network. This ensemble is also an extraordinary testament to Bernar Venet’s own regard on the art of his time.