Bernar Venet’s GRIB series is an extension of his wooden Indeterminate Lines, which he began displaying as reliefs between 1979 and 1983. The 1.5 inch steel plates used by Venet are torch-cut, a technique, which adds to the unpredictable nature of “scribbles” and gives these works a rougher character that is less elegant and accessible than their relief predecessors.
Venet reflects, “My work at the factory is a game of natural constraints between my intentions and the material itself. Each orients the other and is oriented in its turn. I propose directions but am at the same time directed by the steel bar that resists, and will not surrender to my will to dominate… In this game of concessions I must leave its autonomy at the helm.
The result is a testimony to the act of forming and to the inherent possibilities of the material that I do not transform beyond its natural characteristics. By not changing its nature, I do not manipulate its appearance; that would involve creating artifices. In my sculpture, I am intent on keeping the energy of the atomic mass and its relationship to gravity, on respecting its singularity, its difference, its identity.
The constructivist arrangement of different forms and materials, assembled so as to create “something else”, is an approach that I reject. I am in favor of works that are literal and explicit, devoid of artifice or ambiguity. My sculpture is the direct outcome of the manufacturing process. As I said earlier, it is the ‘how’ that defines the ‘what’.
My sculptures are self-referential in the sense that they tell their own story, the story of their elaboration. In this way they stand apart from the classical object that hides its sculptural identity and ‘speaks of something else’.”1
The GRIBs act as living drawings that become monumental through the act of physically transferring them from 2D drawings to 3D steel structures, which are then mounted on the wall. The movement of the hand in their creation is vital, as the shape is entirely dictated by the short time in which Venet randomly puts pen to paper, acknowledging the power of gesture itself as meaningful.
Bernar Venet was born in 1941 in Chateau-Arnoux-Saint-Auban, France. He lives and works between New York and Hungary.
Opening Concurrently at Ace Gallery Los Angeles & Beverly Hills
Saturday July 20, 2013
Beverly Hills 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Los Angeles 8:00 PM- 10:00 PM