Claude Venard was born in Burgundy in 1913. He studied at the École des Arts Appliqués. However, after six years, financial pressures forced him to spend most of 1936 working as a restorer at the Louvre. But he turned this experience to his advantage and used it to plug the gaps in his artistic education.
From 1935, Venard featured in contemporary art exhibitions, both in France and abroad. Before he first exhibited at the Salon de Mai in Paris, he had contributed to shows organized by the Forces Nouvelles group, alongside Roger Humblot, Francis Gruber, André Marchand and Pierre Tal-Coat. But the austere trends followed by the group did not suit Venard any more than they did Marchand and several others, and the artists who had given lustre 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 accentuated the chromatism of his pallet, until it reached a wonderfully discordant mélange of hues, which he often applied with a pallet knife using rich impasto.
Venard’s career was a happy one, punctuated by one man shows in Paris, London, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Munich, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Canada, Belgium and Holland. The artist loved life in all its aspects and his painting reflects his optimism and joie de vivre.