With this new series of drawings, the artist deepens his radical, lifelong exploration of the line and material. Ratcliff writes, “A drawing is an end in itself, not merely a step on the way to realizing a sculpture, nor is a small sculpture of any less importance than one of the artist’s immense outdoor pieces.” Stretching to seven feet tall, these drawings are the artist’s largest to date. Venet uses graphite, oilstick and collage to create groups of four, five and seven arcs in six different configurations onto a white background. With their exacting precision, Venet’s new work originates in his first conceptual sculpture. The interplay between sculpture and drawing brings out the inherent versatility of form in Venet’s oeuvre that transcends material boundaries.
Mirroring the drawings are three new sculptures made of six-foot-tall rolled steel finished in a black patina. The new Arc sculptures are comprised in groups of four, five and seven curved lines that extend upwards from its base at variations of 86.5 degrees.
Carter Ratcliff emphasizes throughout his essay, “How do the sculptures in this exhibition stand in relation to the drawings? Again, it is easy to make—and to leave unquestioned—the assumption that the drawn arcs represent the sculptural ones. Yet we could just as reasonably say that it is the other way around, for Venet sees each of his mediums as equal to all the others”.