Exposition — Brussels


L'hypothèse de la ligne droite

From 12/02/2020 to 14/03/2020


Bernar Venet

Primary known for his monumental works, and his role as a prominent member of the New York avant-garde of the 1960s, Bernar Venet has long focused on painting, poetry, cinema and performance. Most notably, he developed a new form of radical artistic expression combining mathematics and scientific language. Fondation CAB is pleased to invite the exceptional artist Bernar Venet.. He will present a transversal beam of almost 25 meters commissioned by Fondation CAB. The installation will occupy the entire space of the foundation in an experimental approach. 5 historical works will also be added to this work, which will allow a better understanding of the artist’s approach. The artist will do a performance, taking shape as a mural during the opening on Wednesday February 12, 2020.


100 years of diagonals

2020 at the Fondation CAB in Brussels, a steel bar crosses the foundation space diagonally at its opposite. It does not rub against the walls, but acts like a scratch in the void. It is as Bernar Venet describes it, ” L’hypothèse de la diagonale “, meaning that the realization of a possibility linked to a plastic form which follows in his work the hypothesis of the Arc, the hypothesis of the straight line and the hypothesis of the gravity. This large sculptural gesture, a steel bar of 17 meters long, completes a century of diagonals from Rodchenko to Venet: the former unconsciously and deliberately referenced by the latter over the years.

1977 at the invitation of P.S.1, Venet, not yet a sculptor, offers a double mural painting which he calls “Homage à Rodchenko”. On one hand, the path of a cycloid curve, on the other a diagonal which crosses the wall accompanied by formulas for the calculation of the diagonal of the rectangle.

1966, Bernar Venet places science and in particular geometry at the center of his pictorial work. He notably produced ” Calcul de la diagonale d’un rectangle “, in which the diagonal which crosses the canvas right through, from the lower left corner to the upper right corner, becomes a calculation tool linked to its support.

1926, Théo van Doesburg publishes “L’élémentarisme et son origine” (Elementarism and its Origin) in De Stijl’s journal, rebelling against all orthogonal power and introducing a new dimension into the neo-plasticist paintings through the diagonal. Far from being insignificant, this position is at the origin of the split between Mondrian and van Doesburg and opens a new approach to geometric art, in the form of Concrete art, created in 1930 in Paris and resumed in 1944 in Zürich.

1920 (circa), Alexandre Rodchenko draws on sketchbook page, a line starting almost from the lower left corner and almost joining the upper right corner of the sheet of grid paper. The diagonal crosses the sheet, lining all the small squares it passes, which form its purpose.

Practical information:
Opening: Wednesday 12 February, 6-9PM
Exhibition from 12 February till 14 March 2020
Opening hours: from Wednesday to Saturday, 12-6PM

This exhibition takes place with the support of the studio Bernard Venet

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