The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren

The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren


Dates: March 25–June 8, 2005
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Thursday, March 24, 10 AM–Noon


Overview: More than thirty years after Daniel Buren's monumental work Peinture-Sculpture was removed from the Guggenheim Museum's Sixth Guggenheim International Exhibition in 1971 (following the protests of several fellow exhibiting artists), Buren has resumed his dialogue with the museum's legendary Frank Lloyd Wright–designed rotunda. The exhibition The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren opens at the Guggenheim on March 25 and features a major new site-specific installation, which dynamically engages the building's open central space. The exhibition also features a new work the artist has created for the windows in the Thannhauser galleries and will highlight a focused selection of the artist’s key early paintings in the High Gallery.


Daniel Buren (b. 1938) is widely considered one of the most important artists of the postwar generation. Through his aesthetic practice as well as his theoretical writings, he has radically questioned the nature of art and that of the museum. Buren began painting in the early 1960s, but by 1965 he had abandoned traditional painting for the vertical stripes (8.7 cm wide, alternating between white and a color), which have become his signature. Buren has inserted this "visual tool"—created with fabric, paper, tape, and paint—in and on a variety of interior and exterior sites, including billboards, stairways, trains, parks, cafes, bridges, galleries, and museums all over the world. While the stripes have remained a recognizable element throughout his oeuvre, over the past two decades Buren's work has become more sculptural and architectural in scale and form. Buren is internationally recognized for his environmental installations, including, Les Deux Plateaux (1985–86), a work in situ for the Cour d'Honneur at the Palais Royal in Paris. Buren had a major solo exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 2002, and he is currently preparing for exhibitions in Hangzhou and Shenzhen, China in the spring of 2005.


Installation: Throughout his career, Buren has been concerned with the context within which art is displayed, and he has used his work to draw attention to the often unnoticed formal, political, economic, and ideological characteristics of a specific site. Buren’s work for the Guggenheim exposes the powerful presence of the building’s architecture and the various conditions which inform the art within it. Around the Corner (2000/05) rises from the floor of the rotunda to the top of the sixth ramp, bisecting the great space. The structure represents one of four corners of an imagined cube, large enough for the entire museum to be inscribed within it. Pushed into the center of the rotunda, the cubic mass is visible as a fragment (one corner) of the cube. Reminiscent of a skyscraper under construction, the work's straight walls, which intersect at a right angle in the building's center, reintegrate the grid of the city into Wright's defiant spiral.


Organization: The exhibition is organized by Lisa Dennison, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Susan Cross, Associate Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and Alison Gingeras, Independent Curator.


Publication: The exhibition is accompanied by an innovative and informative publication that documents both visually and with text the artist’s presence in North America over the last forty years, including the current exhibition. Sections of the catalogue are devoted to the circumstances and controversy surrounding the removal of the artist's work from the Sixth Guggenheim International Exhibition in 1971, as well as the significance and evolution of the artist's earliest paintings from the 1960s. In addition, a complete descriptive checklist of the artist's North American projects and a related bibliography will be included. Authors include Bernard Blistène, Chief Curator, Head of Visual Arts, Délégation aux Arts Plastiques, Paris; Susan Cross, Associate Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Lisa Dennison, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Alison Gingeras, Independent Curator and author; and Valerie Hillings, Curatorial Assistant, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The catalogue is published by the Guggenheim Museum and distributed by D.A.P. It retails for $40.00.

Public Programs: In conjunction with The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren, the Guggenheim will present a wide range of public programs. Among the programs currently planned include Daniel Buren: In Perspective, a comprehensive series of lectures and panels featuring leading scholars and critics: Daniel Buren: In Conversation on Friday, March 25; Daniel Buren: In Context on Tuesday, April 12; Daniel Buren: In Retrospect on Tuesday, April 26; Daniel Buren: In Response on Tuesday, May 10. Additional programming will be announced.

Sponsor: This exhibition is made possible by Chivas Regal 18, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, and L'Association Française d'Action Artistique.

Information: 212-423-3500
Hours: Sat.–Wed., 10 AM–5:45 PM; Fri. 10 AM–8 PM; closed Thurs.
Admission: $15 adults, $10 students/seniors. Children under 12 free. Fridays from 5–8 PM, pay what you wish.

November 30, 2004

Betsy Ennis/Jennifer Russo
Guggenheim Public Affairs


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