Bernar Venet

b. 1941

Bernar Venet (b.1941, Château-Arnoux, France), is a conceptual artist best known for his curved sculptures in steel which appear to defy gravity with their mathematical precision and swooping forms.


Venet was fascinated with art from an early age, influenced by his mother and a keen interest in books. Whilst serving an obligatory twenty-two months in military service, Venet continued making work, developing his black monochromatic tar paintings and Pile of Coal (1963), widely recognised as the first sculpture without a specific shape and regarded as one of his most famous works.


In 1966, Venet established himself in New York where over the course of the next four decades he explored painting, poetry, film and performance, though he was particularly attracted to pure science as a subject for art.

Venet’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe, the United States, South America and Asia both in solo museum shows, as well as in major art events such as the Kassel Documenta in 1977, and the Biennales of Paris, Venice and São Paulo. To date, Venet is the most internationally exhibited French artist with 30 public sculpture exhibitions and monumental works permanently installed in cities including Auckland, Austin, Berlin, Bonn, Denver, Geneva, Lyon, Neu-Ulm, Nice, Paris, Seoul, Shenzhen, and Toulouse.



He is the recipient of many awards including the Grand Prix des Arts de la Ville de Paris and Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest decoration. In February 2016, the International Sculpture Center endowed Venet the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for his exemplary contributions to the field of sculpture and in 2020 he was admitted to the Royal Society of Sculptors.

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Exhibitions and Art Fairs