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What do you want to know: Regulars of Grosvenor Square in London this summer will be greeted with a series of four large-scale steel sculptures by French artist Bernar Venet. Supported by the Venet Foundation and presented by the London gallery Custos of Waddington in partnership with Art in Mayfair, the exhibition of monumental sculptures in Cor-Ten and rolled steel by Venet illustrates the artist’s mathematical and scientific approach to artistic creation and sculptural composition. Considered one of the most important French artists working today, Venet’s work is recognized as self-referential, with lines, angles and curves stripped of any symbolic allusion or decorative adornment. Instead, the works function as irreducible monoliths that affect perceptions of the sites they occupy. The exhibition of works will be remain visible in Grosvenor Square until August 29, 2023.

Bernard Venet, Indeterminate line (1992). Courtesy of Waddington Custot, London.

About the artist: Concept artist Bernard Venet (b. 1941) is best known for his precise and mathematically rigorous sculptures often executed in steel. As part of his artistic practice, he also undertook ongoing experiments with other industrial materials, such as coal and asphalt. In the 1960s Venet was influenced by the work of Arman and the New Realists working in Paris and began making cardboard sculptures. A visit to New York in 1966 exposed him to minimalism, and he later shared a studio with Arman in midtown Manhattan and interacted with artists such as Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt. Over the following decades, the artist refined his signature style and his work came to reflect his ongoing formal artistic research. In 2005, he was decorated Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, and in 2014 he opened the Venet Foundation, a museum and archives of his work. This year 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of Venet’s seminal work pile of coal (1963), in charcoal, which marks the beginning of his practice of meticulous investigation.

Bernard Venet, 12 unequal acute angles (2021). Courtesy of Waddington Custot, London.

Why we love it: The summer weather calls for spending time in London’s City Parks, and the addition of Venet’s huge steel sculptures makes Grosvenor Square a must-see destination in the weeks to come. Featuring examples of the artist’s ‘Arcs’, ‘Lines’ and ‘Angles’, the concise exhibition of outdoor works allows viewers to walk around and perceive each sculpture from a myriad of perspectives and s immerse yourself in the unique artistic vision of Venet. The scale of the sculptures makes them a natural addition to one of the city’s most famous garden plazas, and the juxtaposition between the precisely executed works and the organic, built landscape that surrounds them gives new perspectives both on the works themselves and on the practice of Venet itself. The outdoor exhibition also invites prolonged inquiry and consideration, as a site of recreation and respite, Grosvenor Square offers an opportunity to engage in unhurried reflection on the work of one of most influential sculptors in contemporary art.

Bernard Venet, 218.5° arc x 21 (2006). Courtesy of Waddington Custot, London.

Bernar Venet in Grosvenor Squareis on view until August 29, 2023.

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