Bernar Venet was born in Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban, France in 1941. He moved to New York in 1961 and was part of the conceptual movement of the 60s and 70s.
Bernar Venet is a Conceptual artist best known for his versatility in multiple mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, as well as stage design and musical composition. Venet became well known in the 1960s for his amorphous installations made by piling up loose gravel, coal, or asphalt; and “industrial paintings” from cardboard reliefs or tar. Inspired by the works of Minimalist sculptors like Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Carl Andre, Venet began to produce wall-mounted and freestanding metal sculptures. Among the best known are his torch-cut steel plates and beams resembling scribbles, lines, and arcs. Venet says that his sculptures are about “how metal resists. They are a test of strength—a battle between myself and the piece of metal.”
Venet is the recipient of many awards including a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Grand Prix des Arts de la Ville de Paris, and Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, France's highest decoration. Venet’s sculptures are present in many of the world’s leading art collections including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA.
In recent years, Venet continues to have extensive solo exhibitions throughout Europe, the United States, Asia most recently he mounted a large scale retrospective exhibited at . Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon ( macLYON) and Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice (MAMAC).
Bernar Venet currenly lives and works between New York and Le Muy, France.