Bernar Venet To Release Debut Digital Art Collection with Sotheby’s

Credit: Sotheby's

The French conceptual artist Bernar Venet is set to release his first NFT collection of generative art on Sotheby’s this spring. The celebrated artist has been at work for over six decades, and his multi-disciplinary practice spans painting, sculpture, drawing, sound, poetry, photography, and design.

His latest work is called ‘EVENT,’ and consists of a generative art collection containing 500 algorithm-based digital artworks that enable collectors to instantly generate a unique output through the artist’s algorithm upon purchasing the work. The artwork, which is the artist’s first creation in Web3, is an exploration of the interplay between unpredictability and randomness in the digital realm.

In a press release from Sotheby’s shared with Rarity Sniper, Venet said that EVENT is the result of a “conceptual matrix that has defined” his art since 1961, which consists of “art that questions itself and that can be transmitted through different disciplines.” He added that algorithms are a tool that can generate compositions which “only chance can create.”

Sotheby’s Head of Digital Art, Michael Bouhanna, added that “Venet is one of the most celebrated and acclaimed conceptual artists of his generation,” and that his entrance into “algorithm-based generative art” reinforces his position as a “pioneer who is not bound by any medium.”

EVENT is part of Sotheby’s Gen Art Program, which launched in 2023 to promote artists creating long-form generative art. It’s first auction was ‘Themes and Variations’ by Vera Molnár. It sold out within one hour and totaled $1.2 million in sales. Secondary sales of the NFTs have generated nearly $4 million since then.

EVENT will be available to purchase in ETH and powered by the Art Blocks Engine. According to the report, the sale will be allocated in phases before it goes public. More details about the nature of the sale are expected in the weeks to come.

Sotheby’s Is Bullish on Digital Art and Web3

Established in London in 1744, Sotheby’s is one of the most celebrated art auction houses in the world. But despite its long history and tradition, the multinational corporation with locations in 40 countries has not been afraid to innovate in Web3 in recent years. In fact, at Rarity Sniper, we’ve written dozens of articles about Sotheby’s delving into the world of NFTs and digital artworks.

Here are the top headlines from Sotheby’s in Web3:

Back in 2021, when non-fungible tokens first began selling for hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars, many people in the traditional art world viewed them with scorn and disdain. Fast forward to today, and some of the greatest artists of their respected generations, like Venet, are working in Web3.

Time will tell what sort of prices EVENT fetches at Sotheby’s when it’s sold later this spring. But considering both the reputation of the artist and of the auction house selling the work, we can say with a bit of confidence that they’re not going to be cheap.