Bernar Venet

4Y (-) (17/24), 2001
2-color silkscreen on Arches watercolor, hot press, 640 gsm paper
22 x 30 in (55.88 x 76.20 cm)
This print is an example of Venet’s work with field equations. Venet has chosen to visually represent a field through mathematical symbols, introducing a new language into the world of art. He categorized the bright yellow background as an arbitrary sign used for the purpose of highlighting the beauty of mathematical equation in the foreground. Venet has referred to mathematical equations as readymades, a term borrowed from his friend Marcel Duchamp. The idea of the readymade is that any quotidian object can be designated by the artist as being worthy of display and categorization as art. Venet takes this idea further by choosing complex equations as his readymades, which can only be read as having a single meaning, unlike the cultural objects of Duchamp. Venet firmly believed that any art which could be read as polysemic was indulgent and self-serving, so he chose mathematical equations which were auto-referential. In fact, Venet wrote a poem which outlines his rules for creating art. “-Not virtual. -Without illusion. -Without appearance. -Nor metaphor. -Self-referential.”
4Y (-) by Bernar Venet