CUSTOT GALLERY DUBAI Alserkal Avenue
After featuring Bernar Venet’s work in its inaugural exhibition The World Meets Here, Custot has followed up with a full solo show for the influential French artist – his first in the region.
Venet is a conceptual artist who has worked in many mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture and installation, as well as stage design and even musical composition. These days he’s probably best known for his monumental metal sculptures, initially inspired by the works of minimalists like Donald Judd and Carl Andre but characteristic of his own vision – a mathematical and scientific approach which has produced torch-cut steel plates and beams resembling scribbles, lines, and arcs.
Venet has said that that his sculptures are about “how metal resists. They are a test of strength—a battle between myself and the piece of metal”. You can certainly see the tension the massive 6.5m high CorTen steel Arc sculpture installed in the gallery; it’s an unequivocal gesture, a mark on the surface of existence – but it can also feel like a open cage, a contrast between the tensile effort and massive strength in the material and the freedom of the spaces it does not enclose.
The exhibition includes a selection of smaller pieces – new works on paper from his GRIB (from gribouillage, or doodles) and Angles series; and Homage to Al-Khawarizmi No2, an acrylic on canvas work honouring one of the founders of modern mathematics.