217.5 Arc x 13

Bernar Venet, France


Title217.5 Arc x 13
Artist: Bernar Venet (b. 1941, France)
Medium: 13 corten steel arcs
Dimensions: 1353 x 447 x 300 cm (134 x 176 x 118 in)
Weight: 5,550 kg (12,125 lbs)
Location: Sunset Beach (Beach Avenue and Jervis Street) in Vancouver

Bernar Venet’s monumental work 217.5 Arc x 13 is part of his Arc series of sculptures which illustrate the beauty, balance, and malleability of raw steel. The name of this artwork is a precise description of its mathematical composition. All of the beams in the sculpture are nested and curved to the same angle providing a sense of balance and grace. Venet employs mathematical manipulations of this industrial material to explore the interconnected relationships amongst nature, humanity, and the universe. The repetitive thirteen curves give a resting yet rhythmic sense of movement and fluidity. The raw red-brown rust colour of the unpainted surfaces of the corten steel, an authentic surface upon which Venet insists, facilitates an interaction with the natural elements.  This sculpture was acquired by the Vancouver Biennale Legacy Foundation in 2007.

“Increasing levels of abstraction and complexity frighten those for whom art is a means to attain a comfortable expression of calm, luxury, and delight.” – Bernar Venet


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