Bernar Venet, 88.5° Arc x 7 from the series Vertical Arcs, Corten steel, Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation. Photo: Sampo Linkoneva.

Bernar Venet’s sculpture 88.5° Arc x 7

Renowned French artist Bernar Venet’s sculpture 88.5° Arc x 7 from the series Vertical Arcs was unveiled at the Serlachius Museums on 27 September, 2021. The nearly six metres tall sculpture, made of Corten steel, will be located on an open grass field in the art museum’s park and will impressively catch the eye on the entrance road to the museum.

Bernar Venet (b. 1941) lives and works in France and New York. He has been considered a pioneer of Minimalist and Conceptualist sculptural art since the 1960s–70s. Venet is particularly known for his dynamic steel sculptures, in which he plays with gravity and three-dimensionality.

The sculpture acquired for the Serlachius collection is part of the Vertical Arcs series, whose works are linked by mathematically precise lines formed of semicircles as well as the material of the works, Corten steel. Sculptures belonging to the series are on display in public places around the world.

The sculpture, as its name implies, consists of seven 88.5 degree arcs. The artist says that he sought to explore verticality in his sculpture formed vertical arcs. The arcs are followed by vertical lines. “The better part of my sculpture originated by taking the ‘line’ as a point of departure.”

A foundation records and presents the artist’s life’s work

Bernar Venet has held many solo exhibitions and participated in joint exhibitions around the world. His works are included in the collections of dozens of museums and art institutes. A retrospective extensively presenting his life’s work was held at the Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art in winter 2018–19. His exhibition The Gravity Hypothesis is currently being shown at the Louvre-Lens Museum.

The Venet Foundation was established in 2014 to preserve and present the artist’s achievements over his career of more than 50 years. A limited selection of the foundation’s works can be viewed at Le Muy in the south of France, where the artist also lives while in the country.  

Venet’s production has been shown previously in Finland, at an exhibition held at Galerie Forsblom in 2012. The gallery has also represented the artist since then.