Collector Bernar Venet emphasizes that his impressive collection is built on strong friendships and believing in the importance of finding the right pieces early on, Venet strove to acquire museum quality artwork from the very beginning.
The coherence of the Venet Collection is built upon Venet’s personal tastes, and has been influenced by the acquisition and subsequent expansion of his property in Le Muy, France. Over the years, works acquired by his wife Diane have also come into the collection. Diane and Bernar Venet’s art collection now includes over a hundred works of conceptual and minimal art, Nouveau Réalisme, Land Art, and Body Art. From Donald Judd to Dan Flavin, including Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner and Richard Long, it is today one of the foremost private collections in the world.
Created in 2014, the Venet Foundation aims to preserve the site in Le Muy, France, to conserve the collection, and ensure that Bernar Venet’s work lives on after him.
“My collection is often made up of these private objects that are only valuable to me, for the memories they summon. The exceptions are rare and most of the works were done for me, with a story that is attached. That is the case, to mention just a few, of Morellet, who created a work from the letters of my name; of Arman, who did my Trashcan and my “Identikit Picture”; of César, who compressed my car; or of Rotella, who created a “Blank” in my studio on Canal Street andJean Tinguely who realized a very baroque candlestick for my fiftieth birthday. Soon after my arrival in New York, Christo also did a wrapped portrait for me, and in exchange I offered him an Equation painting, which I see each time I visit him. That was the spirit in which my collection began to take shape.”