Daniel Buren

 

Profile

Daniel Buren introduced a breath of fresh air into the world of conceptual art with his pioneering site-specific works. Since 1965 he has used regular contrasting stripes that he calls "a seeing tool." The width of the trademark stripes is always a standard 8.7 centimeters. Through the years, he has positioned these stripes with various media on canvas, cloth and objects. Buren gained public attention in 1969 and 1970 by putting up hundreds of unauthorized striped posters in metro stations in Paris and Tokyo. In 1986, his controversial work of striped columns, Two Plateaus, at the Palais Royal courtyard drew great attention and assured his status as a leading artist. Later in the same year he represented France at the Venice Biennale and won the Golden Lion Award. He has exhibited widely in Europe, America and Japan. He says he has come to Japan nearly 200 times since 1970, and continues to question worldwide the nature of artistic conception and perception.

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Throughout his career, Daniel Buren has radically questioned the nature of art and the systems that support it. He introduced a breath of fresh air into the world of conceptual art with his pioneering site-specific works.

Buren studied painting in the late 1950’s at the Ecole Supérieure de Métiers d'Art in Paris and started out drawing abstract paintings until around 1965 when he was drawn by the appeal of stripes. Since then he has used regular contrasting stripes that he calls "a seeing tool"The width of the trademark stripes is always a standard 8.7 centimeters wide.

His signature "seeing tool"stripes have become indispensable to his work, and through the years, he has produced artworks with the stripes drawn on canvas or dyed on cloth or molded into three dimensional objects. By reducing his paintings to their simplest visual and physical elements, emptying them of all illusion and subjectivity, Buren questioned the traditional expectations of form. He says that ordinary spaces and objects suddenly gain new characteristics and show a new relationship with their surroundings once they are viewed with stripes.

Buren gained public attention in 1969 and 1970 by putting up hundreds of unauthorized striped posters in metro stations in Paris and Tokyo. In 1986, his controversial work of striped columns, Two Plateaus, at the Palais Royal courtyard drew great attention and assured his status as a leading artist. Later in the same year he represented France at the Venice Biennale and won the Golden Lion Award.

Buren has produced innumerable projects internationally, including major shows at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris in 2002 and at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2005. He was introduced to the Japanese public as early as 1970 when he first visited the country as a participant in the "Humanity and Matter"exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.

Many of his site-specific works are removed from their sites and disappear after the exhibition is over, and he says, "I do not believe art works should be eternal."

Buren continues to question worldwide the nature of artistic conception and perception.

Biography

Born in Paris (France) 25 March 1938. Lives and works in situ.

Daniel Buren is one of the most renowned artists on the international art scene and indeed one of the most productive. Upwards of 1,600 exhibitions, one third of them solo exhibits, have been held on all continents. He nurtures a special relationship with Japan where ever since 1970, when he participated in the 10th Tokyo Biennale, he has produced several permanent public pieces and more than 60 exhibitions. Of note is the extraordinary involvement of the Kanransha gallery in Tokyo, which held a dozen exhibitions of Daniel Buren's work between 1982 and 1993.


1960-61 Firstpublic commission of murals for a hotel on St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands). To date more than 180 exhibitions have followed since in the USA.

1965 Grand Prix at the Paris Biennale. Prix Lefranc de la Jeune Peinture (prize for young painters)

1966-67 Events staged by the foursome Buren, Mosset, Parmentier & Toroni

1967 First"affichages sauvages" (fly-posting) in the streets of Paris

1968 First solo exhibit at Galerie Apollinaire, Milan

1968/1969/1971/1976 Participated in "Prospect" , Düsseldorf, Germany

1969 Interruption, exhibition-presentation of 8 films on a Scopitone at the Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris

1970 Participated in the "10th Tokyo Biennale" International Exhibition (Tokyo, Japan)

1970 "Affichages sauvages" (fly-posting) in the Paris, Tokyo and New York subways
First video work with the Gerry Schum gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany

1971 "Eine Manifestation", first solo exhibition in a museum, Städtisches Museum, Mönchengladbach (Germany)
"Peinture-Sculpture", work censored at the "VIth Guggenheim International" exhibition, Guggenheim Museum, New York

1972 /1977 / 1982 Participated in the Documenta, Kassel, Germany

1972 / 1974 / 1976 / 1978 / 1980 / 1984 / 1986 / 1993 / 1997 / 2003 / 2007 Participated in the Venice Biennale

1973 / 2006 Solo exhibitions at the MOMA, Oxford, UK

1975-1982 First "Cabane Éclatée" ("splayed cabin") for the Städtisches Museum, Mönchengladbach, Germany

1975 / 1979 / 1980 / 1983 / 1998 / 1999 / 2004 / 2005 Toile/Voile-Voile/Toile, boat races followed by museum displays of sail-canvasses in Berlin, Geneva, Lucerne, Villeneuve d'Ascq, Lyon-Villeurbanne, Tel-Aviv, Seville and Grasmere.

1976 Three simultaneous exhibitions in the Netherlands: Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven / Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam / Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

1982 / 1983 / 1984 / 1985 / 2000 / 2005 / Performances of Couleurs Superposées in Genazzano, Tokyo, Berne, Eindhoven, Venice, Villeneuve d’Ascq, New York and Paris.

1983 Beginning of a close collaboration (more than 10 exhibitions, personal and group) with the Kanransha Gallery, Tokyo.

1986 « Les deux plateaux, sculpture in situ », public commission for the Central Court of the Palais Royal in Paris
Golden Lion for best pavilion at the 42nd Biennale in Venice

1989 Solo exhibitions at the Touko Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo and the ICA in Nagoya (Japan)

1990 "Living Treasure" prize bestowed by New Zealand

1991 « International Award for Best Artist » The Bad Wurtemberg Land, Stuttgart Germany

1992 Grand Prix National de Peinture, Paris

1994 « Déplacement-Jaillissement : d’une fontaine les autres », public commission for Place des Terreaux, Lyon, France
« Sens dessus-dessous, travail in situ et en mouvement » ("work in situ and in motion"), commissioned by Lyon Parc Auto for the Celestins parking lot in Lyon, France (prize for finest parking lot in Europe received in Budapest, Hungary

1996 Transparence de la lumière, solo exhibition at the Mito Art Tower (Mito, Japan) 25 Porticoes : la couleur et ses reflets ("color and its reflections"), public commission for Odaiba Bay, Tokyo, Japan

2002 Le Musée qui n’existait pas ("The museum that didn't exist"), solo exhibition at the Pompidou Center in Paris, France

2003 « Transitions : works in situ », solo exhibition at the Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota (Japan)

2004-2006 Six exhibitions in China (Beijing, Jinan, Hangzhu and Tianjin)

2005 The eye of the storm , solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, New York. Participated in the International Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohama.

2007 Curator of « L’emprise du lieu », joint exhibition at Domaine Pommery, Reims, France
Stage designer for the Sophie Calle exhibition at the French Pavilion of the Venice Biennale