213.5° Arc x 15

Bernar Venet

corten steel

Bernar Venet was born in France and lives since 1966 in New York. Venet works with different materials, albeit steel is his most commonly used material. This ‘Arc’ work consists of arcs, a section of a geometric image that is easy to reconstruct – the circle. The way the arc seems to bring all surrounding space into the imaginary orbit on which it is drawn is truly spectacular. Even materialized in steel, the arc is unfocused and tends to transform its surroundings into an image. Venet says about this: “My works are often the result of an unexpected event. The impression of precarious balance that this sculpture evokes is in fact the result of a group of arches slipping accidentally.”

It seems as if Venet is playing with the massive, large-scale steel sculptures like a graphic artist does with paper and pen. His works, which usually weigh tons, cannot be moved without the aid of heavy machinery. Yet they still have a lightness, like creatures suddenly imbued with life. Despite their length and their identical amplitude, the Arches are not positioned on the ground at the same point of the curve. The work is completely dependent on gravity. And although they are juxtaposed, the ends never reach the same height, which shows dynamism and at the same time individualizes these sculptures. These groups of arches find their compositional balance in a play of mass and volume. The three groups of arches are deliberately chaotically positioned.