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RAW: Portraits of Artists, by Bernar Venet

This exhibit features a selection of photographs that, brought together for the first time in the United States and for the most part previously unpublished, give the viewer a unique, personal view of Bernar Venet’s interactions with other artists. These images have no particular artistic ambition; at their core, they are purely photography as instinct and were taken almost all by chance.

Venet’s pictures are a valuable mix of historical evidence and friendly instantaneous moments. He began to take these portraits in the 1960s, first in Nice, then in Paris, and, after 1966, in New York where he has been based for the past fifty years. They rekindle the sense of adventure around an art movement that was created in solitude and friendship. Throughout the years, Bernar Venet has collected works by these artists who he knew and with whom he socialized, many of whom were his friends. These photos taken on a whim are another way to extend the collection and the community of friends that they embody.