If you've strolled around the Grand Basin at the foot of Art Hill in Forest Park in the past few months, you've no doubt stumbled across the works of Bernar Venet. The massive coils of steel crouched under the trees are Venet's work, and they reveal a master's hand. Similar in appearance to the spine of a wire-bound notebook ripped free and cast aside, the haphazard loops are not formed by chance at all; Venet is a student of American formalism but has refined his approach to an interest in the nature of the line. How the line flows, how it reacts to the forces of geometry to become arc, parabola, hyperbola or angle: These are Venet's concerns. The artist translates these forces into three dimensions, captures the loose and the graceful in the hard lines of steel so that they're visible forever.
But like most sculptors' art, Venet's work isn't limited to the built form. A collection of his works on paper, as well as his sculptural pieces, are on display at the William Shearburn Gallery (4735 McPherson Avenue; 314-367-8020 or www.shearburngallery.com) in the exhibition Bernar Venet: Recent Sculpture, Drawings and Prints. These same concerns of balance and counterbalance, of gravity and weight holding one another at bay, are evident in his 2-D works. Venet visits the gallery from 6 to 8 p.m. this evening (Friday, September 8) for the opening reception of his show. His work remains on display at the Shearburn Gallery through Saturday, October 14.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Sept. 8. Continues through Oct. 14