Daniel Buren is a specialist in artistic interventions on plazas, streets and buildings, and in landscapes and interiors. For several decades now he has travelled the world so as to open up new possibilities for seeing through his cunning installations.
The principle of the repeating, vertical, coloured stripe measuring exactly 8.7 cm in width has elevated Daniel Buren to fame. He already developed the idea for this in the mid-1960s as a protest against a tired institutionalised art establishment, which to his mind blocks our view of the essentials. With his patterns of stripes freed of any meaning, he wanted to heighten awareness once again for the geometrical underpinnings of painting and at the same time overcome the boundaries of the customary picture support by extending his in situ compositions across the floor and walls.
Since the 1970s, Daniel Buren’s range of materials has been expanded to include a simply endless diversity of means, such as transparent coloured foil, mirrors, concrete, wood, stone, steel and Perspex. But throughout all this the one constant that has remained with him since 1985 has been the stripes, quite unchanged in their dimensions and disposition. They are the artist’s sole unvarying “visual tool” which he uses in the most diverse locations and situations in combination with an enormous variety of other materials.
The central work on the ground floor of the museum is the installation Two Exploded Cabins for a Dialog. Two large, interlocking cabins come face to face in a dialogue. The work only becomes clear to the visitor after walking round and through it. Thanks to the silvering of their outer shell the cabins and their location merge in the mind of the beholder to form a single whole.
For Museum Ritter he has devised two temporary works that use the large glass surfaces in the open passageway. And both relate directly to the situation he found there: while transparent coloured foil attached to the glazed sections of the passage’s high ceiling create an impressive play of light and colour, a sophisticated striped creation on the glass window front in the passage addresses the underlying theme of the whole museum, the square. The show is rounded off by a small selection of individual works.
Daniel Buren, Photo-Souvenir: Broken Square, Projected Colours, works in situ and mobile, Museum Ritter, Passage, 2013, Detail, Photographer: Franz Wamhof
Daniel Buren, Photo-Souvenir: Cadre décadré 14 C2, situated work (made in Mainz, 2006), Detail
Daniel Buren, Photo-Souvenir: Two exploded Cabins for a Dialog, 2011
Daniel Buren, Porträtfoto, Photographer: Tom Oettle
© Daniel Buren & VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020