February 02 - March 22, 2001
galerie jerome de noirmont

exhibition release

For his debut exhibit at the Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, (which is now his primary representative), Bernar Venet will unveil his brand new works: Peintures Murales / Equations (Wall Paintings / Equations).

These colorful paintings depict mathematical and scientific formulae and figures, embodying a dynamic, innovative artistic process, searching for a new pictorial language, a new aesthetics.

By depicting a formula on the large scale of a wall, Bernar Venet suggests a new artistic aesthetics of mathematical purity, one which reflectq the richness of content, purity, austerity and direct simplicity. "Any painting could be considered a masterpiece upon achieving the perfect synthesis of the idea and the plastic solution". Einstein´s formula e=mc2 is a masterpiece. It sums up one of the most essential and complex laws of the universe into is most primary articulation.

In this new aesthetic research, the color has no expressive function, as the artist states: "if I use the color today, it´s because I consider it as an arbitrary sign. The essential function of colors is to make my figures spring out of the walls. For example, if I choose a yellow background, the visual impact would be bigger than if I painted on a white wall."

Bernar Venet´s Peintures Murales open a new field of artistic investigation, apart from the familiar grounds of figuration and abstraction. They require us to place ourselves in a completely different context of thought. His true goal is to "call everything into question", with new pictorial proposals, in a previously unexplored process. It is a radically different language, a system of signs that proposes unexplored formal and conceptual structures, repressed until now. « The application of mathematics to a formal level has never concerned my work; thus, I considered that another stage could be tackled by proposing to develop the purely linguistic aspect of mathematics. » Thus, he sets himself apart from his predecessors by swapping the intuitive composition for a systematic composition.

Also, choosing mathematical symbols for "purely artistic questions, notably those linked to the problems of the identity of an artwork to its specificity" , these Equations distinguish themselves distinctly from his work to the sixties, which utilize mathematical language in a solely conceptual investigation of the other issues such as non-aesthetic in art.

At the same time as several important books dedicated to the different aspects of Bernar Venet´s work are published, these new works mark a decisive step in his creation These wall paintings, canvases and gouaches invite us to witness Bernar Venet´s theoretical search. Once again, the artist radically departs from the aesthetic issues of his already recognizable and widely appreciated work to challenge the public with something new to contemplate.