Daniel Buren: Eye Of The Storm
Works in Situ
Essays by Bernard BlistÀne, Susan Cross, Lisa Dennison and Alison M. Gingeras.
One of the most important contemporary artists working today, Daniel Buren has been creating site-specific installations world-wide for nearly 40 years. Throughout his varied oeuvre, the artist's familiar stripes--8.7 cm-wide alternating white and colored vertical bands--have remained an important, unchanging “visual tool” in his investigations of sites and systems. For his major new project at the Guggenheim, Buren has designed a reflective, cube-like structure that will reach to the height of the oculus and dramatically bisect the renowned interior of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda. The mirrored exterior surface of Buren's construction will reflect a nearly empty museum. Adorning the parapet walls, Buren's familiar stripes will draw visitors' attention to the powerful personality of the building as well as particular characteristics that inform its role as a space for viewing art. A selection of key early paintings by the artist will also be exhibited. Accompanying the presentation, an innovative, illustrated newspaper-like publication will fully document Buren's history in North America as well as his past and present projects at the Guggenheim. The experimental publication will resemble a newspaper in format and graphics. Information usually organized into chapters in a traditional catalogue will be realized as different sections, much like the “Front Page,” “Arts and Leisure,” and “Classifieds” of a typical news journal. Printed on newsprint paper in mostly black & white, the publication will have the look and feel of The Herald Tribune or The New York Times. Images of the new site-specific project at the Guggenheim and the paintings on exhibit will be printed in stand-out color. The innovative format of the journal reflects the ephemeral nature of the artist's work as well as his manipulation of varied, familiar sites and systems of visual communication. Over the years Buren has inserted his stripes in paper or cloth in a range of contexts, including billboards, signposts, park benches, hay bales, café tables, subway doors, sailboats, escalators, windows, walls, bridges, markets, galleries, and museums, among others to draw attention to what often goes unnoticed, unseen.