Evolving out of European Conceptualism of the early 1970s, French sculptor Bernar Venet has since resorted to the pure objectivity of a simple line defined in space. His current exhibition of steel sculptures and drawings showcases a series of single and double arcs and wobbly, indeterminate lines that resemble long pieces of elastic frozen in space.
Upturned and resting on their curves, the arcs reach out like a pair of torso-less arms seeking to embrace the rest of their circular body. Surrounding space is circumscribed by our tendency to want to complete the circle. As a result, Venet uses real form to suggest the idea of an unseen volume, creating a relationship between materialism and conceptualism.
Indeterminate lines are much more problematic. Twisting in on themselves like some collapsed spiral seeking an impossible equilibrium, their plasticity defies logic. We feel the need either to tie up their loose ends or build a box around them, lest they squirm out of control and re-form themselves in another guise. Playful yet intelligent, Venet's works are built around obvious paradoxes. It remains to be seen how much mileage he can get from the repetition and revamping of what amounts to two simple ideas. (Wenger Gallery, 828 N. La Brea Ave., to Nov. 17.)