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

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


An Installation of Emblematic Paintings from the Artist's Early Career Also Featured

Exhibition title:
The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren
Exhibition dates: March 25–June 8, 2005
Press preview: Thursday, March 24, 10 AM–Noon
Exhibition location: Rotunda, ramps, High Gallery, Thannhauser Galleries 3 and 4

(NEW YORK, NY—January 28, 2005) Almost thirty-five years after Daniel Buren's monumental work Peinture-Sculpture was removed the day before the opening of the Guggenheim International Exhibition, 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, Around the Corner (2000–05), which dynamically engages the building's open, central space. The exhibition also features an installation of paintings in the High Gallery, and a new work the artist has created for the windows in the third- and fourth-floor Thannhauser Galleries. The exhibition remains on view through June 8, 2005.

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

Exhibition Installation
Throughout his career, Buren has been concerned with the context within which art is displayed and 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. The exhibition's installation features sculpture, painting, light, and color, and is divided into three sections: the rotunda intervention, Around the Corner; an installation of paintings in the High Gallery; and Color, Rhythm, Transparency, work in situ: The Double Frieze, Thannhauser 3 and Color, Rhythm, Transparency, work in situ: The Single Frieze, Thannhauser 4, chromatic treatments of the windows in two of the Thannhauser Galleries.

The Rotunda: Around the Corner
The centerpiece of the exhibition, Around the Corner, rises from the floor of the rotunda to the top of the sixth ramp, bisecting the great open space. Like the installation of Peinture-Sculpture (Painting-Sculpture) in 1971, the current work also blocks the vista across the ramps, yet with its mirrored surface, cleverly doubles the view at the same time. Reminiscent of a skyscraper under construction, 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 middle of the rotunda, the intersection of the two visible walls sits directly beneath the center of the museum's oculus skylight. This unexpected ninety-degree-angle parallels both Eighty-eighth Street and Fifth Avenue, reintegrating the grid of the city into Wright's defiant spiral.

The title of the exhibition, The Eye of the Storm, refers in part to the “storm” of criticism Wright's unusual building produced when it was built, as well as to the oculus, or “eye,” beneath which it sits. Composed of an interior scaffolding structure and a mirrored skin, Around the Corner not only situates itself within the museum environment, but it also references the surrounding city and its typical architectural elements. The museum's spiral is made even more emphatic by the artist's signature stripes, which are adhered to the circling parapet walls. The spiral literally envelops the structure and wraps “around the corner” of the cube. Reflecting kaleidoscopic views of the building, the work makes visible what is often out of sight or disregarded, and magnifies the already destabilizing architecture of the museum. The brightly colored 8.7. cm bands on the parapet add to the visual spectacle.

The High Gallery: Murs de peintures
In the High Gallery, an installation of Buren's paintings also draws attention to the museum's role in the presentation and reception of art. Buren will install Murs de peintures, a collection of twenty of his striped canvases dating from 1966 to 1977. Formerly in a private collection, the works were brought together as a single installation for an exhibition at the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1995. Since that time, the works have become part of that museum's permanent collection and remain permanently on view. The temporary closing of the museum for renovations has afforded the Guggenheim the unique opportunity to share these emblematic works with a New York audience. In Paris, the canvases were placed on two walls facing each other on either side of a Matisse mural. Hung “salon-style” from floor to ceiling, the canvases are denied the isolation afforded most contemporary works on the supposedly neutral space of the museum's white walls. Buren's placement of the works—both in Paris and in New York—questions codified curatorial practices and the powers that dictate them. At the same time, the placement of the paintings emphasizes their connections to other works on view and to the museum itself.

The Thannhauser Galleries: Color, Rhythm, Transparency, works in situ
The works Buren created for the windows in the third- and fourth-floor Thannhauser Galleries, entitled Color, Rhythm, Transparency, work in situ: The Double Frieze, Thannhauser 3 and Color, Rhythm, Transparency, work in situ: The Single Frieze, Thannhauser 4, continue to stress the integration of work and site in his oeuvre. Colored films affixed to the glass filter the light coming into the building and allow visitors to see conditions of display that may often go unnoticed. Instead of re-creating an illusion of light on canvas, Buren harnesses the light in the actual space. The patterns of the colors are adhered directly to the body of the museum, which becomes itself a support for and a part of the art. Shadows on the floor and ceiling further integrate the room into the work. Likewise, the city and park views seen through the windows become incorporated into the whole of the exhibition experience. A frieze of white and mirrored bands on the central column in Thannhauser 3 creates a multiplicity of fragmented reflections and further confuses interior and exterior views.

Born in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, in 1938, Daniel Buren has radically questioned—through his aesthetic practice as well as his theoretical writings—the nature of art and the systems that support and manipulate it. At the same time, he manages to successfully work within the institutions that are an integral part of this cultural machine. Buren began painting in the early 1960s in a mostly abstract idiom, and after a short but prolific period of experimentation with this medium the artist discovered the striped material which would become his signature. By 1965 the artist had begun making paintings with a linen woven with alternating bands of white and color that he found at the Marché Saint-Pierre, a textiles market in Montmartre, Paris. Buren abandoned traditional painting and adopted the 8.7 cm wide vertical stripes as a “visual tool” that prompts viewers to read the work's surroundings. Buren has inserted his stripes—created with fabric, paper, tape, paint, concrete, and mirror, among other materials—in and on a variety of interior and exterior sites, including storefronts, billboards, stairways, trains, parks, plazas, markets, theaters, cafes, bridges, galleries, and museums, all over the world. Situated in both art and everyday environments, Buren's works explore how different contexts or frameworks invest the art with meaning and raise various questions. Thus, for almost four decades, Buren has chosen to work in situ, that is, within and in response to a given location (and its particular conditions), which he sees as inextricable from the artwork itself.

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. Manipulating various architectural elements, Buren creates new “places” within existing sites. While his practice has been mostly ephemeral and dependent on a particular location, beginning in the mid 1970s, the artist began a series of works called Cabanes éclatées (roughly translated as “exploded or shattered cabins”) that can be adapted for various venues. Using freestanding walls, windows, doors, and mirrored surfaces, as well as color and light, Buren re-configures his boxlike structures for various venues. Cutting out doors and windows from these pavilion-like sculptures, and projecting the shattered pieces onto the surrounding site, Buren metaphorically “blows up” the notion of an independent art object and numerous artistic conventions. Merging work and site, the artist reframes our perspectives on art and environment.

Buren continues to visually and conceptually transform well known sites with his critical and sensitive eye and has tackled entire museums, as well as city squares and public parks. The artist is internationally recognized for his works in situ and has been invited to create numerous important permanent public installations, including Les Deux Plateaux (1985–86), a controversial work created for the Cour d'Honneur at the Palais Royal in Paris. Most recently, Buren has been commissioned to design permanent installations for Castello di Ama in Chianti; Telenor in Oslo; IRSAM, Marseille; and Ponticelli, Naples, all in 2001. Buren had a major solo exhibition, Le Musée qui n'existait pas in 2002, which challenged expectations of the conventional retrospective, at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and in 2003, he mounted an exhibition at the Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota City, Japan. In 2004, Buren created a spectacular work for the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and an outdoor work in situ at the Parc du Château de Versailles, as well as two public projects in China: in a public plaza in Jinan and at the Temple of Heaven, Beijing.

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 M. Gingeras, Independent Curator.

The exhibition is accompanied by an innovative and informative publication that documents through text and images 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 Guggenheim International Exhibition, 1971, as well as the significance and evolution of the artist's earliest paintings from the 1960s. A selection of the artist's projects from North America will be addressed in depth, as will his critical and historical reception in the United States. In addition, a complete, descriptive checklist of the 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 M. Gingeras, an 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.

Public Programs
The following programs are held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and are free with museum admission, unless otherwise noted. Of particular interest is Daniel Buren: In Perspective, a comprehensive series of lectures and panels featuring Daniel Buren and leading scholars and critics who will examine his oeuvre in depth.

Unless otherwise noted, tickets for lectures are $10 ($7 for members, students, and seniors). For more information, call the Box Office at (212) 423-3587.

Daniel Buren: In Perspective
The Guggenheim is pleased to offer a comprehensive series of programs dedicated to the work of Daniel Buren, examining his work and thematic concerns through conversations with leading artists, critics, and historians.

Daniel Buren: In Conversation
Tuesday, March 29, 6:30 PM
Daniel Buren and noted scholar Alexander Alberro discuss the sculptural and architectural works the artist has made in situ over the past two decades. Having focused throughout his career on the relationship between art and the place where it is displayed, Buren has investigated the formal and ideological characteristics of a variety of buildings and sites. Since the 1980s, the artist has manipulated the language of architecture in his works and to that end has created numerous cabanes éclatées (“exploded cabins”), which can be adapted to and integrated with various venues. A leading authority on Conceptual art, Alberro is an Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Daniel Buren: In Context
Tuesday, April 12, 6:30 PM
A panel of artists and art historians addresses Buren's groundbreaking work of the late 1960s and '70s in the context of the dominant trends in art production in the U.S. during that period. Leading authorities on Minimalism, Conceptual art, institutional critique, and Performance art debate how Buren's work corresponded to and differed from that of his peers in America. Anne Rorimer, independent writer and curator; RoseLee Goldberg, Adjunct Professor at New York University; and artist John Knight give presentations on the artist's work. James Meyer, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Criticism at Emory University, responds.

Daniel Buren: In Retrospect
Tuesday, April 26, 6:30 PM
Distinguished critic and art historian Douglas Crimp speaks about his earliest encounters with Daniel Buren's work. As a curatorial assistant at the Guggenheim Museum in 1971, Crimp experienced firsthand the Guggenheim International Exhibition, 1971, from which Buren's contribution was removed. Crimp discusses this historic event and the critical significance of the artist's work. Currently the Fanny Knapp Allen Professor of Art History and the Co-Director of the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, Crimp has shaped contemporary art theory since the 1970s through his work at October magazine and his influential publications such as On the Museum's Ruins (1993) and Melancholia and Memory (2002).

Daniel Buren: In Response
Tuesday, May 10, 6:30 PM
Over thirty years ago, Daniel Buren began a dialogue with the powerful architecture of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda with his creation of a 32 x 66 foot banner designed to hang in what the artist has called the void's “hypnotic nothingness.” Buren's new work continues his engagement with the museum and its dramatic central spiral, articulating for a new audience “the spectacle afforded by the museum itself,” which, like any space, is never neutral. The artist speaks about his current project for the Guggenheim, The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren, and responds to the reactions to the exhibition of both critics and museum visitors.

Daniel Buren: In Situ: Examining Institutional Critique
Tuesday, May 17, 6:30 PM
Museums and galleries, as well as numerous non-art venues, have been both subject and site for Daniel Buren since the late 1960s, when he first began investigating an artwork's inextricable relationship to the context in which it is seen. A diverse, new generation of artists continues to use art, to question methods of display, education, and marketing imposed by art institutions, as well as the social, economic, and political aspects of a variety of familiar sites and systems. An international panel of contemporary artists, including Andrea Fraser, Pierre Huyghe, and Santiago Sierra, discusses Buren's influence, as well as the role of institutional critique in their own work and in the current cultural landscape.

Works & Process
Daniel Buren: Couleurs Superposées: Acte VII, 2005, 60 minutes
Friday, March 25, 8 PM
Daniel Buren presents the New York premiere of a performance in which his signature colored stripes come alive on the stage. At the artist's direction five performers paste striped papers on a billboardlike wall. Colors overlap, harmonize, appear, and disappear. Art historian RoseLee Goldberg provides an introduction and commentary. $20 per person, or $15 for members, students, and seniors. For updated information regarding ticketed programs, please call the Box Office at (212) 423-3587, or visit the Museum's Web site at

For Families
Digital Devices, Inspiring Architecture
Saturday, April 2, 1–4 PM
Investigate the ways that artist Daniel Buren has reflected and engaged the architecture of the Guggenheim Museum and create a design for your own site-specific work in the museum's rotunda using Adobe Photoshop and digital photography. Advance registration required. No previous computer experience necessary. Instructor: Rosanna Flouty, Manager for New Media. Open to children ages 7–13 with an adult companion. $20 for one child, plus one free adult ($15 for members' children); $15 per additional adult or child. To register, call (212) 423-3587.

Architecture Exploration
Saturday, May 7, 1–4 PM
Experience two very different kinds of architecture with your family. Participants explore the unique architecture of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, as it is reflected in the exhibition The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren. Then, journey two blocks north to explore the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, formerly the Andrew Carnegie Mansion, and compare the various forms and functions of the architecture of the two buildings. Families work together to create a building of their own design. Instructors: Educators from the Guggenheim Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Open to children ages 7-13 with an adult companion. $20 for one child, plus one free adult ($15 for members' children); $15 per additional adult or child. To register, call (212) 423-3587.

For Educators
Educator Viewing
Wednesday, March 30, 3:30–6:30 PM
Join us for an afternoon of looking, learning, and mingling with colleagues. Tour The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren and learn about upcoming programs. Receive curriculum materials designed in conjunction with the exhibition. Meet the Education Department staff. RSVP to (212) 423-3231.

Site-Specific Art
Wednesday March 11, 3:30–6 PM Participants explore the exhibition The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren, in which the artist creates a site-specific installation in the main rotunda and interventions in the Thannhauser windows, directly addressing the space and architecture of the well known Frank Lloyd Wright spiral and its function as a space for viewing. Educators consider the effect of the installation on the Guggenheim's architecture and design their own installations for the museum's rotunda. Instructor: Jessica Wright, Education Manager, School Programs. $20 per educator. To register, call (212) 423-3637.

For Students
Art After School at the Guggenheim
Tuesdays, March 22, 29; April 5, 12, 19; May 3, 10, 17; 4–6:15 PM
Get to know the museum's Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and the permanent collection. Classes are held in the Sackler Center for Arts Education, with visits to the current exhibitions, including The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren, incorporated into each session. Children participate in interactive gallery explorations followed by hands-on studio art workshops. Led by museum educators, participants experiment with techniques from collage to digital media in individual and team projects. The program culminates with a showcase in which students invite their families to view the work they have created. To ensure individual attention, this program is limited to 15 participants. Open to children ages 8–11. $275 ($250 for members). For information or to register, call (212) 423-3637.

On Site/In Situ: 8-Week High School After-School Program in 3D
Mondays, April 11, 18, 25; May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 3:45–6 PM
PUBLIC PRESENTATION: Wednesday, June 1, 5–7 PM
Budding architects and designers explore Daniel Buren's current project for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren and digitally create their own site-specific installation proposals using Adobe Photoshop and 3-D modeling software. Two Wednesday field trips to notable sites in Manhattan complement the course. This seven session program culminates in a public presentation of student work on June 1. Open to high school students ages 14–18. No prior multimedia experience necessary. Registration required. $35 includes all materials. For more information and an application form, contact Rosanna Flouty, Education Manager for New Media, at (212) 423-3532 or e-mail

Tour and Workshop Program
Teachers of grades 3–12 have the opportunity to bring their classes to the Guggenheim Museum for educator-led tours, followed by related hands-on projects. Theme-based program offerings include Architecture as Art, Permanent Collection Highlights, and special exhibition tours. For more information or to schedule a Tour and Workshop, call (212) 423-3637.

The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren
Mon–Wed, and Fri, 10 AM–12:30 PM
The world-famous architecture of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is temporarily altered by the installation of French artist Daniel Buren. His trademark vertical stripes, along with a mirrored cubelike structure, drastically reform the interior of the spiral-shaped building. Students consider Buren's installation and how it helps visitors see the building with fresh eyes, while exploring various ways that architecture can be altered by art. The Tour and Workshop program is supported by The Barker Welfare Foundation and the Elroy and Terry Krumholz Foundation, Inc.

Tours are free with museum admission. All tour times are subject to change. For daily schedules, consult the electronic signboard located near the admissions desk.

A Curatorial Eye
Fridays, April 1 and 22, and May 6, at 2 PM
Join Guggenheim Associate Curator Susan Cross for tours of the current exhibition on Fridays at 2 PM.

An Educator's Eye
Fridays, April 29, and May 13, 20, and 27, at 2 PM
Join members of the Guggenheim's Education staff for tours and discussions of the current exhibition on Fridays at 2 PM.

The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren
Daily tours begin every half hour from 11 AM–2:30 PM
This docent-led orientation provides a brief introduction to Daniel Buren's site-specific installations. Orientations take place in the rotunda and discuss how Buren's work explores the relationship between art and institution.

First Fridays: NYC's Hottest DJs
April 1, May 6, June 3, 9 PM–1 AM
This spring the Guggenheim Museum will host First Fridays from 9 PM to 1 AM, when, in addition to experiencing the museum's progressive contemporary art exhibitions, you'll be able to listen to some of New York's hottest DJs spin music in the museum's spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda. April 1 - Dina Regine, May 6 - Laurent Vacher of Labtonic, June 3 - Patchi. Sip a cocktail at the cash bar or wind your way up the spiral ramp to explore The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren, The Hugo Boss Prize 2004: Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Masterpieces of Early Modernism. $15 (cash only please), FREE for members and IN:NYC Card members. For more information visit or to become a member call (212) 423-3535.

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 6 to 8 PM, pay what you wish.

March 3, 2005


Betsy Ennis
Guggenheim Public Affairs
(212) 423-3840


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