Bernar Venet New York, Versailles, Budapest

Curator: Alexandre Devals He is 71 years old, he does not like what is antique, at least not what was made before 1950, and he is dreaming about a bedroom that is completely empty and white. He was born in France, as a child he wished to be a missionary, and he was suspended for a week at the art school of Nice for defending Picasso against his fellow students. In the early sixties he painted his works with his feet on the floor, and in his first recorded performance he had himself photographed among dustbins. After moving to New York he lived in Soho and made his furniture from plywood that he found in the streets. He worked as theatre set designer, poet, sculptor, and he also wrote a ballet based on vertical stage technique.

His straight-curving-broken-infinite pipes and bars were exhibited in many halls and parks around the world, he had a performance in Budapest (at the exhibition Fémjelzés in Kunsthalle), and also composed music in which shots were fired.
His ars poetica: “It is only through taking risks that one may reach that which is worth showing.” Accordingly, his performances and exhibitions, which tend to provoke the public taste, are capable of moving masses of people. One of his famous artworks, a 60 tons composition of rusty iron bars that creates the bare ribs of a metal-being, framing the statue of Louis XIV, which was made in the workshop of Nyársapáti and exhibited in Versailles this autumn, gained significant media coverage. It was impetuously called “a piercing put in Mona Lisa’s ears”, while simultaneously praised for its implementation as showing a level of engineering expertise comparable to that behind the viaduct of Millau.

The awards he received speak for themselves: In 1989 he was awarded with the Grand Prize of the City of Paris, and later, in 2005 he received the French Legion of Honour.

The present retrospective exhibition at Kunsthalle opening January 26, 2012 aims at serving with a comprehensive view of the astonishingly coherent oeuvre of an artist belonging to the forefront of the minimalist and conceptualist movements, whose oeuvre ranges from pieces of a radically new perspective created 50 years ago in New York to the large-scale masterpieces recently displayed in Versailles.

Literary programs

The Venet-Coefficient

February 23, Thursday, 7 pm Public reading by: Mátyás Dunajcsik, Dénes Krusovszky Music: Spiritus Noister ‒ Katalin Ladik, Endre Szkárosi and Zsolt Sőrés

March 22, Thursday 7 pm Public reading by: András Forgách, Krisztina Tóth Music: Bori Rutkai and the Specko Jedno
Ticket: 500 HUF


February 3, Friday 7 pm
David Yengibarian – accorcion
Ticket: 900 HUF

Dance performance

2012. February 24, Friday 7 pm
Tünet Együttes: Olyan furcsa vagy ma (You are so strange today)
Directed by: Réka Szabó
Dance: Zsófia Tamara Vadas / Réka Szabó
Music: Hunor G. Szabó / Krisztián Kelner
Visuals: Kiégő Izzók

Ticket: 900 HUF
All programs and events may be subject to change.
More information about the programs you can find HERE!
2012. January 26. - March 25.

Kunsthalle, Budapest

2012. January 19. - March 18.
Previous exhibition

Opus Magnum

2012. February 23. - April 29.
Next exhibition

Marina Abramović: Eight Lessons on Emptiness with a Happy End