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 Claude Venard  (1913 - 1999)

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About: Claude Venard
 

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Lived/Active: France      Known for: post cubist painting-abstraction

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BIOGRAPHY for Claude Venard
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Birth
1913 (Burgogne, France)
 
Death
1999 (Paris, France)

Lived/Active
France

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post cubist painting-abstraction

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Biography from POCOCK Fine Art & Antiques:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Claude Venard was a notable exponent of the French mid-century post-Cubist movement.  He was born to bourgeois parents from Burgogne in Paris, on March 21, 1913.  At the age of 17, he enrolled and attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, but remained for only two days, not adhering to the school’s academic style.  Instead, he spent the following six years at the École des Arts Appliqués, taking evening classes and embracing the contemporary Parisian art scene, all the while becoming recognized in its circles.

Not able to support himself as an artist, by 1936 he found employment as a restorer at the Louvre, further honing his artistic skills.

Paris of the period was dominated by an art trend that strongly favored abstraction. Following a group show at the Galerie Billet-Worms in 1935, art critic Waldemar George declared: “Let’s be young again! Painting is not dead… Its course has not stopped. Forces Nouvelles is born.”

Venard contributed and initially adhered to the strict disciplines of the Forces Nouvelle group.  But as with many of his fellow members, he soon abandoned it seeking individual expression.

Following WWII, Venard rekindled friendships with past Forces Nouvelles members, joining Pierre Tal-Coat, André Marchand, André Civet and Francis Gruber in the Post-War art movement.  The group of artist enthusiastically supported each other and participated in molding their individual gestures through constructive critique. Venard readily developed an appealing style, securing his first solo exhibition in 1944 at the Gallerie Barreiro in Paris.

Venard’s gesture was immediately well received and the artist enjoyed a number of successful exhibitions that helped establish his continuing popularity.  A prolific painter, Venard favored still-life and cityscapes delivered in a spatial, quasi-abstract yet faithfully post-cubist style.  The work is characterized by heavy impasto delivered to canvas with the knife, scraffito designs in the wet paint and bold colorful compositions, joyous colorations that reflected the spirit of the artist.

An internationally exhibited painter, Vénard’s work has been shown at numerous exhibitions in Paris, including the Forces Nouvelles Exhibitions; Salon des Indépendants; the Salon des Tuilleries and the Salon de Mai, of which he was a founding member.  Among his solo exhibitions Vénard exhibited widely, including in New York, Milan, Geneva, Chicago, Munich, Tokyo, Buenos Aires and San Francisco. Some of the most successful exhibitions were promoted through the long standing relationship with Galerie Félix Vercel, in Paris and London.

Works by Claude Vénard can be found in the permanent museum collections of the Tate Collection in London, the Musée d’art Moderne de la ville de Paris and Dallas Museum of Art. There is also a strong international following by a number of prestigious private, corporate and institutional collectors.

Sources:
E. Bénezit Dictionary of Artist, Gründ Publishing 2006. Copied with permission, Pocock Fine Art & Antiques website (www.pocockfineart.com)

Biography from Cotai Fine Art:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Claude Venard was born in 1913 into a business family from Burgogne.  At the age of 17 he began to take evening classes in painting at the Ecole des Arts Appliqués.  However, after six years of conscientious study he was forced, in order to support himself, to spend most of 1936 working as a restorer at the Louvre Museum.  This experience, however, turned out to be beneficial in as much as it enabled the young artist to fill the gaps still existing in his artistic education.  In 1936 abstract painting was the dominant trend.  That same year, a group show of young painters was organized by the Galerie Billet-Worms.  This show led the critic Waldemar George to write: “Let’s be young again! Painting is not dead.  Its course has not stopped.  Forces Nouvelles is born.” Within this new movement "Forces Nouvelles," the leading painters of the day, including Claude Venard were assembled, which gave impetus to their cause. 

Upon Venard’s release from the army, at the end of World War II, his life was transformed.  With recognition came the chance to put painting before all else.  In 1945, through his continued friendship with Gruber and Marchand, Venard shared mutual success.  He remained faithful to a post-Cubist compositional style, and progressively accentuated the chromatism of his pallete up to reaching the crudest of colors, which he used in very thick forms and sometimes applied with a pallet knife.  Venard’s career was a happy one, punctuated by one-man shows in Paris, London, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dusseldorf, Munich, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Canada, Belgium and Holland. 

The artist loved life in all its aspects, and one is inclined to feel that he may have been in search of a genre of painting that would respond to even the most earthy appetites.  As he himself phrased it: "-We must be wary of works that seduce at first glance.  By this I don’t mean to say that ugliness is the greatest of virtues – only that a work must inspire because of its own worth, without the intermediary of gracious artifices."

Museums: Modern Art Museum – Paris, Rouen Museum, Nice Museum, Munich Museum, Tokyo Museum Metropolitan Museum - New York, Dallas Museum, Sao Paulo Museum, Montreal Musem, Tate Gallery London.

Biography from Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born March 21, 1913, Paris, France; Died in 1999

Claude Venard decided to become a painter when he was only 17 years old. To pursue his dream, he signed up at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (which he fled after only 48 hours!), and subsequently at the Ecole des Arts Appliqués. However, after six years of conscientious study, he was forced, in order to support himself, to spend most of 1936 working as a restorer at the Louvre Museum. This experience, however, turned out to be beneficial in as much as it enabled the young artist to fill the gaps still existing in his artistic education.

Since 1935, Venard’s name figured in contemporary art exhibitions, both in France and abroad. Before he first exhibited at the Salon de Main in Paris, he had contributed to other shows organized by the important group of Forces Nouvelles, along with Roger Humblot, Francis Gruber, André Marchand, and Pierre Tal-Coat. The harsh trends followed by this group, however, did not suit Venard any more than they did Marchand and several others, so that the very same artists who had given luster to the Forces Nouvelles left it to its own resources.

Upon Venard’s release from the army, at the end of World War II, his life was transformed. With recognition came the chance to put painting before all else. In 1945, through his continued friendship with Gruber and Marchand, Venard shared mutual success. He remained faithful to a post-Cubist compositional style and progressively developed the chromatism of his pallet to reaching the crudest of colors, which he used in very thick forms and sometime applied with a pallet knife.

Venard’s career was a happy one, punctuated by one-man shows in Paris, London, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dusseldorf, Munich, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Canada, Belgium and Holland. The artist loved life in all its aspects and one is inclined to feel that he may have been in search of a genre of painting that that would respond to even the earthiest appetites. As he himself phrased it:

"We must be wary of works that seduce at first glance. By this I don’t mean to say that ugliness is the greatest of virtues – only that a work must inspire because of its own worth, without the intermediary of gracious artifices."

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