October 13 2020

Bernar Venet creates largest public sculpture in Europe

The steel sculpture weighs 250-tons

Working since the mid-1960s, the practice of French artist Bernar Venet spans a multitude of disciplines, from drawing and sculpture to music and poetry. Venet recently made headlines with his monumental work ‘Arc Majeur’, a 250-ton steel sculptural installation flanking a motorway in Lavaux-Sainte-Anne, Belgium, which broke records as the largest public sculpture in Europe.


The colossal structure is composed of two parts: on one side of the road stands an arc formed from three sections measuring 20-meters each and standing 60-metres high, while located on the other side is a smaller arc rising to 20-metres. The work has been praised for its minimal, sleek aesthetic, alongside its record breaking proportions. 


Travelers approaching the unmissable landmark are able to catch sight of it from over 3-kilometers away. Venet selected the particular site for its unobstructed views and lack of buildings and lampposts, allowing the artist to fully impose his personal artistic vision on the natural surroundings. 


The artist explained “I spotted an ideal location on the motorway to Luxembourg... is important to have a lot of distance so as to see the sculpture from far away and to get closer to it – unless it is the sculpture that comes nearer to us.”


Venet is the recipient of many awards including the Grand Prix des Arts de la Ville de Paris; the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest decoration; and the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award.