Claude Venard (1913-1999)

Claude Venard was born in Burgundy in 1913, and he decided to become a painter aged seventeen. Venard studied art at the École des Arts Appliqués in Paris for six years but financial pressures forced the artist to work as a picture restorer at the Louvre. However, by 1938 Venard was exhibiting at the first exhibition in Paris with the influential “Forces Nouvelles Group,” alongside artists Roger Humblot, André Marchand, and Pierre Tal-Coat.

Claude Venard quickly became known for his rich impasto and varying textures. The artist participated in the acclaimed École de Paris group exhibitions at the Galerie Carpentier and helped found the revolutionary Salon de Mai in 1944, which played an essential role promoting avant-garde abstract painters in Paris.

Claude Venard’s unique and alluring compositions developed through the Post-Cubist method, deftly combining abstraction and naturalism. Coupled with his use of vibrant and strong colour, often applied with a palette knife to achieve a rich impasto, Venard’s optimistic attitude and obvious enjoyment of life imbues everyday objects and his views of Paris with an undeniably French joie de vivre. The artist said of his approach to his paintings “One must be wary of works that seduce at first sight; I do not mean that ugliness is a virtue, but a painting should be powerful without the use of trite devices.”

Claude Venard’s artistic career was highly successful internationally until his death in 1999. Venard held numerous one man shows in Paris and throughout France annually from 1944 until a final retrospective in 2000 just after his death. The artist also had many solo exhibitions in the USA, predominantly in New York, and in Germany, South America and Canada, and participated in many group shows in France and the USA, and in London at the Leicester Gallery, Lefevre Gallery and Arthur Tooth Gallery. In 1956 Claude Venard was an exhibitor at the Venice Biennale.

Examples of Claude Venard’s paintings are held at:

Tate, London,
Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris,
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada,
Musée des Beaux Arts, Rouen,
Neue Pinakothek, Munich,
Sao Paulo Museum of Art, Brazil
Dallas Museum of Art, USA

Artist Collection