French, born in 1938, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Daniel Buren is a contemporary Conceptual French artist best known for using regular, contrasting coloured stripes integrating visual surface and architectural space, notably on historical, landmark architecture. Born in 1938 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, he studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Métiers d’Art in Paris, graduated and started painting in 1960.
By 1965, he gave up traditional painting for the 8.7 cm-wide vertical stripes, which alternated between white and one colour, which became his signature. Working on-site, he strives to contextualise his artistic practice using the stripe – a popular French fabric motif – as a means of visually relating art to its situation, a form of language in space rather than a space in itself.
Between 1966 and 1967, he joined forces with fellow artists Olivier Mosset, Michel Parmentier, and Niele Toroni to form the art group BMPT, whose intention was to question notions of authorship: the art object was more important than its authorship. In other words, they suppressed subjectivity and expressiveness in favour of practical systems, such as the utilization of neutral, repetitive patterns. Before producing his stripes for private homes, public places and museums worldwide, Buren set up hundreds of striped posters, so-called “affichages sauvages”, around Paris and in more than 100 Metro stations, raising the public attention. His most controversial work, Deux Plateaux (1986), Daniel Buren covered one of the courtyards of the Palais-Royal in Paris with columns with his signature, vertical stripes. Denoting the trademark stripes as a visual instrument, he invites viewers to take up his critical standpoint challenging traditional ideas about art.
Since the nineties, Buren’s work has become more architectural. He creates new space within existing environments such as city centres (A Colored Square in the Sky, Pasadena, California, 2007), public parks (La Cabane Éclatée aux 4 Salles, Paris, 2005), entire museums (The Eye of the Storm, Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2005), and even beaches (Le Vent soufle où il veut, Nieuwpoort, Belgium, 2009).
His work can be found in the permanent collection of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, among others.
Daniel Buren currently lives and work in Paris.
Daniel Buren, Untitled, 2004, vinyl on pvc, 4 parts x 100 x 100 cm