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Bernar Venet

Bernar Venet moved from France to New York in 1966 and rose to prominence through the avant-garde art scene in the city at that time. After four productive years in New York, he broke off his artistic activities and devoted himself to theory and teaching at the Sorbonne in Paris. He then resumed his art-making practice in 1976.

Focussing on all variants of the line as a fundamental subject, arcs, angles and both straight and indeterminate lines have come to define his aesthetic. From this point Bernar Venet navigates significant issues such as equilibrium, control and the relationship with environment.

He created the first of his seminal Indeterminate Lines by experimenting in a series of wood reliefs. He soon developed these formalist sculptures in the medium of steel, a material central to his theories, – specifically Bernar Venet says that his sculptures are about how the material resists, saying it is a test of strength; a battle between myself and the piece of metal.

He has been awarded France’s highest decoration, the Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur, Commandeur dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture. In 1994 the artist was invited by Jacque Chirac to present twelve sculptures from his Indeterminate Lines series beneath the Eiffel Tower – these went on to tour 35 cities around the world. In 2011 he became the fourth contemporary artist to be offered a solo exhibition in the grounds of the Chateau de Versailles. In February 2016 the International Sculptural Centre in New York presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his exemplary contributions to the field of sculpture.

Nine Unequal Angles can be viewed at the entrance of Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens.