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Daniel Buren

France 1938

Installation, Conceptual Art


Daniel Buren
Daniel Buren
March 21, 2017
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Definitely one of the most prominent French conceptual artists to date, Daniel Buren produces colorful work that is often described as radical due to the artist’s refusal of the idea of authorship. Sometimes classified as a member of the Minimalist movement, Buren is best-known for his installation art pieces made from regular, contrasting colored stripes and patterns. In the core of his artistic practices is the effort to integrate visual surfaces and architectural spaces, oftentimes choosing to work with historical and landmark structures. Emerging in Paris during the time of the 1960s, Daniel Buren is nowadays internationally recognized for his contribution to Conceptual Art. It should also be noted that this author is a founding member of the BMPT group, an artistic collaboration that respects and represents most of Buren’s own views and ideas about art.

Daniel Buren - Installation at Le Situ Bristol hotel in Paris - Image via cdncom
Daniel Buren – Installation at Le Bristol hotel in Paris – Image via cdn.com

Daniel Buren and His Color Stripes

For the majority of his career, Daniel Buren has been mainly concerned with presenting art and highlighting facture[1] – the process of making art that substitutes the traditional mimesis or representation of anything but the work itself. As it was said earlier, his artistic choice usually falls on installation art as this modern form of expressing oneself seems to suit most of Daniel’s creative beliefs. Many of his artistic decisions can be somehow traced to the times Buren was a student at the famous Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Métiers d’Art in Paris where he graduated in the year of 1960. After graduation, he initially began painting – however, by the time of the mid-1960s, he had completely abandoned traditional painting in order to commit to his 8.7 cm-wide vertical stripes.[2] These lines alternated between white and one other color and have quickly become the signature and focal point of Daniel’s practices. After the material transition occurred, Buren began producing unsolicited public artworks by setting up hundreds of striped posters he referred to as affichages sauvages. He also worked on Esquisses Graphiques.[3] These bandit-style acts truly caught the eye of the Parisian public. By 1970, Daniel was putting his stripes on the front and back of Los Angeles bus benches – of course, without any governmental permission whatsoever.

Daniel Buren is best known for his distinctive site-specific installations of alternating stripe patterns and lines

Daniel Buren - Installation View at Kunsthalle Situ Baden-Baden - Image via s3amazonawscom
Daniel Buren – Installation View at Kunsthalle Baden-Baden – Image via s3.amazonaws.com

Installation Exhibitions and the BMPT Group

Daniel Buren quickly established himself as a controversial young artist who was not afraid to enter the notorious category of the world of art[4] – this was underlined by his first solo exhibition for which he blocked the entrance of the gallery with stripes. In 1971, he created a six-foot banner titled as Peinture-Sculpture that divided the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda in New York City. This event was followed by Daniel’s first solo show in the Big Apple which also carried a lot of controversies[5]. In 1977, the artist started to cut up his old pieces and reuse them in the production of newer works, adding another interesting notion of analyzing for anyone interested in studying Buren’s concepts. A surprising and exciting contradiction was surrounding the young artist back then – he was dedicating all of his time to objecting against traditional ways of presenting art through the museum-gallery system while at the same time he was growing in hot demand to show via the same system. Between the years of 1966 and 1967, Daniel joined creative forces with fellow artists Olivier Mosset, Michel Parmentier and Niele Toroni in order to form the BMPT group whose intention was to reduce paintings to the most basic physical and visual elements. This was to be done via a systematic repetition of motifs.

Daniel Buren devised a concept of a degree zero of painting during the 1960s, solving arguably the main issue of the artist’s current Conceptual Art phase

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Daniel Buren – CARRÉ N°XH 9, 2016 – Image via netdna-cdn.com

Mature Art of Daniel Buren

Besides working on his installation works, Buren also staged a series of performances with other BMPT artists they called manifestations – public acts based on the critical encounter with audiences[6]. However, installations definitely continued to be this artist’s focal point even during this time. Starting with the years of the early 1990s, Buren’s work has become notably more architectural. He started creating new spaces within existing environments such as city centers, parks and museums, all the while staying true to his colorful stripes. In many ways, this time can be described as the creative peak of Daniel Buren’s career. The 2000s were just as equally successful as the artist created many new installation projects during the current millennium. Some of the most notable pieces Buren created either on his own or via a collaboration during the 21st century are De l’azur au Temple du Ciel (2004), A Rainbow in the Sky (2009), Curseur (2009–2013), Photo souvenirs au carrè (2010) and Défini, Fini, Infini (2014).

In 1986, White York museum held a paper works exhibition called Peinture situ Palais Bortolami
Daniel Buren – Installation View at Friedrich Petzel Contemporary Art Daily – Image via s3.amazonaws.com

The Results of His Artworks and Biography

Ultimately, Daniel Buren’s peculiar site-specific installations of alternating layers and patterns successfully challenged conventional notions of where art can be seen and how it can be understood. Such an achievement, combined with the famous degree zero of painting concept, makes this artist a necessary stop for anyone seriously interested in examining the history of Conceptual Art. Additionally, Buren’s goals of deconstructing the idea of space and time, as well as his radical refusal of the authorship norm, only further add value to his life’s work that is absolutely one of the most pivotal art making practices the French contemporary art of the 20th century has in its arsenal.

Daniel Buren lives and works in Paris, France.


  1. Lelong, G., Daniel Buren, Flammarion, 2002
  2. Mennour, K., Daniel Buren: 1965-2015, Kamel Mennour, 2015
  3. Buren, D., Daniel Buren: Esquisses Graphiques, Éditions Dilecta, 2012
  4. Cerizza, L., Buren, D., Daniel Buren: Prospettive, JRP|Ringier, 2008
  5. Marlow, T., Obrist, H. U., Buren, D., Daniel Buren: Underground, Art / Books, 2017
  6. Corà, B., Aisa, M. G., Buren, D., Daniel Buren, Silvana Editoriale; Bilingual edition, 2013

Featured image: Daniel Buren – Photo of the artist – Image via uoregon.edu
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017Seurat to Riley: The Art of PerceptionCompton Verney, Compton Verney, Warwickshire Group
2017Against LandscapeThe Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland Group
2017Against LandscapeConiston Institute, Cumbria, Coniston Group
2017La PergolaMusée Régional D'Art Contemporain Languedoc-Roussillon, Sérignan Group
2017The Blue and Then WhatBarbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MA Group
2017On the Subject of the Ready-madeDaimler Contemporary, Berlin Group
2017On the Subject of the Ready-MadeDaimler Art Collection, Stuttgart Group
2017The Beauty of the MatterLa Galleria Dorothea van der Koelen, Venice Group
2017Fòcar Arte Novoli 2017Palazzo Baronale Di Novoli, LecceGroup
2016Daniel Buren´s Origin of Stripes: Paintings from 1965-1966Nahmad Contemporary, New York City, NY Solo
2016Como un juego de niñoMuseo Espacio, Aguascalientes, AGU Solo
2016Observatory of Light, Work in situFondation Louis Vuitton, Paris Solo
2016ZeichnungBuchmann Galerie, Berlin Group
2016Toute Premiere Fois22Visconti, Paris Group
2016Carte blanche à Tino SehgalPalais de Tokyo, Paris Group
2016KanranshaGallery Koyanagi, Tokyo Group
2016DecorBoghossian Foundation, Brussels Group
2016Sammlung Opitz-HoffmannStadtmuseum & Kunstsammlung Jena, Jena Group
2016Par tibi, Roma, nihilNomas Foundation, Rome Group
2016Tous les tableaux sont à l’enversCircuit, Lausanne Group
201612th East Wing Biennial- Artificial RealitiesEast Wing Biennial, London Group
2016A Tiger Cannot Change its stripesCultuurcentrum Strombeek, Grimbergen Group
2016Allegro GiustoIstituto Svizzero di Roma, Rome Group
2015Daniel BurenKunsthalle Recklinghausen, Recklinghausen Solo
2015Daniel BurenGaleria Nara Roesler, Rio de Janeiro, RJ Solo
2015Daniel BurenGalerie Kamel Mennour, Paris Solo
2015WoodcutsHiram Butler Gallery, Houston, TX Group
2015Julian Dashper & FriendsWellington City Gallery, Wellington Group
2015Group ExhibitionHannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Group
2015They Printed It!Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich Group
2015Painting 2.0: Malerei Im InformationszeitalterMuseum Brandhorst, Munich Group
2015Dimensions VariablesPavillon d l´Arsenal, Paris Group
2015Follia Continua! 25 Years Of Galleria ContinuaLe CENTQUATRE, Paris Group
20151St Trio BiennialTrio Bienal, Rio de Janeiro, RJ Group
2015Light And The Space Of The VoidSandra Gering Gallery, New York City, NY Group
2015Zero To One On PaperRatio 3, San Francisco, CA Group
2015HiwarAMOCA, Sakhnin Group
201512th Havana BiennialCentro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana Group
2015Personal Structures Crossing BordersPalazzo Bembo Exhibitions, Venice Group
2015We’Ve Got Mail IIMostyn, Llandudno, Wales Group
2015Collection Colette & Michel PoitevinGalerie Lasécu, Lille Group
2014Daniel BurenBALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Solo
2014Passions secretesTri Postal, Lille Group
2014The Art Of Our Time. Masterpieces From The Guggenheim CollectionsMuseo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno ContemporáneoGroup
2014Sigmund Freud and the Play on the Burden of Representation21er Haus, Vienna Group
2014Carte BlancheMetropolitan Art Society (MAS), Beirut Group
2014GiantCollectors Contemporary, Singapore Group
2014La Beauté Du GesteMusée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QC Group
2014Formal AbstractsMcCabe Fine Art, Stockholm Group
2014Musée à Vendre pour Cause de FailliteHerbert Foundation, Ghent Group
2014Re-View: Onnasch CollectionHauser & Wirth, New York City, NY Group
2013Daniel BurenMuseum Ritter, Waldenbuch Solo
2013Electricity Paper Vinyl...Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
2013Anni '70. Arte a RomaPalazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome Group
2013AbsolutWhite Flag Projects, Saint Louis, MO Group
2013Artists using PhotographyGesso Artspace, Vienna Group
2013According To PlanBarbara Mathes Gallery, New York City, NY Group
2013Re-View: Onnasch CollectionHauser & Wirth, London Group
2013Emscher Kunst 2013Projektbüro EMSCHERKUNST, Essen Group
2013Blowin freeHaus Kemnade, Hattingen Group
2013As if it CouldHerbert Foundation, Ghent Group
2013In Deed, Vilnius Group
2013le choix du coeurGandy Gallery, Bratislava Group
2013Collection GrauwinkelVasarely Museum, Budapest Group
2013Paint HotelJoe Sheftel Gallery, New York City, NY Group
2013A Brief History Of Spots, Stripes And HolesCarlson Gallery, London Group
2013Via the VirtualCultuurcentrum Strombeek, Grimbergen Group
2013Steven ParrinoGagosian Gallery, Paris Group
2013Primary StructuresBrigitte March International Contemporary Art, Stuttgart Group
2013A Stone Left UnturnedYvon LambertGroup
2013In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in ArtThe University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC Group
2012Daniel BurenBortolami, New York City, NY Solo
2012Daniel Buren: Monumenta 2012Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris Solo
2012Out Of The BlueBortolami, New York City, NY Group
2012From Page to SpaceGalerija Murska Sobota, Murska Sobota Group
2012Drop Me a LineLGLondon, London Group
2012Butterfly & CrawlGandy Gallery, Bratislava Group
2012ar(t)chitectureMulier Mulier Gallery, Knokke-Heist Group
2012Architectural DispositionsThomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Group
2012Daniel Buren, André CadereArt Attitude Hervé Bize, Nancy Group
2012Martin Visser: collector, designer, free spiritBonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht Group
2012Zwischen Geometrie und AbstraktionSamuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld Group
2012Utopie GesamtkunstwerkSchweizergarten, Vienna Group
2011Écho d'échos : Vues plongeantes, Travail in situCentre Pompidou-Metz, Metz Solo
2011Echos, travaux in situCentre Pompidou-Metz, Metz Solo
2011Daniel Buren: Allegro VivaceStaatliche Kunsthalle BadenSolo
2011La persistencia de la geometríaCaixaForum Madrid, Madrid Group
2011CírculosGalería Elba Benítez, Madrid Group
2011Art & Project BulletinChristophe Daviet-Thery, Paris Group
2011DwellingMarianne Boesky Gallery, New York City, NY Group
2010Architecture, Contre-Architecture : TranspositionMusée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg Solo
2010PergolaEspace de l’art concret, Mouans Sartoux Solo
2010HICVilla Arson, Nice Group
2010Coup de VilleWARP, Sint-Niklaas Group
2010Group ExhibitionXavier Hufkens, Brussels Group
2010Taking PlaceStedelijk Museum CS, Amsterdam Group
2010Summer Group ShowCollectors Contemporary, Singapore Group
2010Venti PazziFrancesca Minini, Milan Group
2009A Rainbow in the SkyArmory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA Solo
2009Daniel Buren: Museu SerralvesMuseu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto Solo
2009Daniel Buren: Voir Double, travail in situXavier Hufkens, Brussels Solo
2008daniel burenKonrad Fischer Galerie, Dusseldorf Solo
2007Armory Public View: Daniel BurenArmory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA Solo
2007Daniel BurenLisson Gallery, London Solo
2006Daniel BurenModern Art Oxford, Oxford Solo
2006Daniel Buren couleurs et ombres portéesGalleria Continua Beijing Solo
2005BurenChâteau de Tours, Tours Solo
2005Daniel BurenXavier Hufkens, Brussels Solo
2005Daniel Buren: Les Visages ColorésGalerie Buchmann, Cologne Solo
2004Quatre fois moins ou quatre fois plus?Palais de Tokyo, Paris Solo
2003Daniel Buren: Les ParallèlesGalleria Massimo Minini, Brescia Solo
2003Daniel Buren: Green and Red to InfinityMasataka Hayakawa Gallery, Tokyo Solo
2003Daniel Buren: Transitions: works in situToyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota Aichi Solo
2002Daniel Buren: Peinture blancheGalerie Buchmann, Cologne Solo
2001Daniel BurenGalerie Marian Goodman, Paris Solo
2001Daniel BurenKunstraum Innsbruck, Innsbruck Solo
2001Daniel Buren Les Couleurs TraverséesKunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz Solo
2000Travaux publicsGalerie Georges Verney-Carron, Lyon Solo
1999Daniel BurenWeserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen Solo
1999Daniel Buren: À pied d'oeuvreGalerie Roger Pailhas, Marseille Solo
1998Daniel Buren: Construction, Travaux In SituLe Consortium, Dijon Solo
1998Daniel Buren: QuadrillerGalleria Ugo Ferranti, Rome Solo
1998Daniel Buren: Situated lithographsGemini G.E.L., New York City, NY Solo
1997Parallelepipede & Trame Travail in situ.Center for Contemporary Art, CCA Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu Solo
1997Glissements de la lumière sur la couleur...Centre d’art contemporain la Synagogue de Delme, Delme Solo
1997Daniel Buren Implosion ou la Cabane aux quatre piliersMusée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy, Nancy Solo
1996Daniel Buren: Transparence de la Lumière, travaux in situMito Geijutsu-kan, Mito Solo
1996Daniel Buren: Erscheinen-Scheinen-VerschwindenK20 Grabbeplatz, Dusseldorf Solo
1995Daniel Buren: Esquisses graphiquesMichel Rein Tours, Tours Solo
1995Daniel BurenGalerie Georges Verney-Carron, Lyon Solo
1994Daniel Buren: Les Arches in Wall to WallSouthampton City Art Gallery, Southampton Solo
1993Daniel Buren: To AlterJohn Weber Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
1993Daniel Buren: Yerlestirilmis Bir IsMacka Sanat Galerisi, Istanbul Solo
1992Daniel Buren: Coloured transparencySue Crockford Gallery, Auckland Solo
1992Daniel Buren: D'une structure à l'autreACP Viviane Ehrli Galerie, Zurich Solo
1991Daniel Buren: Travaux situésGalerie Buchmann, Basel Solo
1991Daniel Buren: Travaux situésGalerie Roger Pailhas, Marseille Solo
1991Daniel Buren: Wo? Was? Wie?Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover Solo
1991Daniel Buren: From Facsimile to SiteKanransha Gallery, Tokyo Solo
1990Daniel BurenGalerie René Blouin, Montreal, QC Solo
1990Daniel BurenStaatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart Solo
1989Daniel Buren: New WorksJohn Weber Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
1989Daniel Buren: Del Colore della materiaGalleria Massimo Minini, Brescia Solo
1988Daniel BurenGalerie Daniel Templon, Paris Solo
1988Daniel Buren: De Quelques Interférences : IntersticesGalerie Roger Pailhas, Marseille Solo
1988Daniel Buren: MétamorphosesColumbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH Solo
1988Daniel Buren: The ReverberationBrooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, NY Solo
1987Daniel Buren: Arbeiten für InnenräumeGalerie Nikolaus Sonne, Berlin Solo
1987Daniel BurenGalerie René Blouin, Montreal, QC Solo
1987Daniel Buren: Sketches for a work in situSerpentine Gallery, London Solo
1986Daniel BurenLisson Gallery, London Solo
1985Daniel Buren: A Room in a RoomKanransha Gallery, Tokyo Solo
1985Daniel Buren: Situated ConstructionJohn Weber Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
1984Daniel Buren. Coincidences. Arbeten in situModerna Museet, Stockholm Solo
1983Daniel BurenKunsthalle Bern, Bern Solo
1983Daniel Buren: AuparavantGalerie Eric Fabre, Paris Solo
1983Daniel Buren: Through the Reflecting GlassJohn Weber Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
1982Daniel BurenStädtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach Solo
1980Daniel Buren: ExitJohn Weber Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
1980Daniel Buren: RiflessoGalleria Bonomo, Bari Solo
1980Daniel BurenLisson Gallery, LondonSolo
1980Daniel BurenCentro Difusor de Arte, LisbonSolo
1980Daniel BurenGalerie Tanit, Munich Solo
1979Daniel Buren: Du faux comme modèleRoyal Academy of Arts, London Solo
1978Daniel Buren: Découpage-CollageGalerie CM, Saint-Etienne Solo
1977Daniel Buren: ImpromptuCU Art Museum, Boulder, CO Solo
1977Daniel Buren: In drei RäumenGalerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich Solo
1977Daniel Buren: Drei InstallationenGalerie Paul Maenz, Cologne Solo
1976Daniel Buren: ExercisesGalerie Rolf Preisig, Basel Solo
1976Daniel Buren: InstallationInstitute of Contemporary Arts, London Solo
1976Daniel Buren: To PlaceJohn Weber Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
1976Daniel Buren: Vice VersaGalerie Paul Maenz, Cologne Solo
1976Daniel Buren: Vice VersaKonrad Fischer Galerie, Dusseldorf Solo
1973BurenGalerie Wide White Space, Antwerp Solo
1973Manipulation. paintings by Daniel BurenJack Wendler Gallery, London Solo
1972BurenGalerie Wide White Space, Antwerp Solo
1971Dunkelgrün Hks 55 NMichael Werner Kunsthandel, Cologne Solo
1971BurenGalerie Wide White Space, Antwerp Solo
1969BurenGalerie Wide White Space, Antwerp Solo