Daniel Buren

Biography of Daniel Buren

Having achieved huge international recognition as well as the honor of representing France at the Venice Biennale in 1986 for which he won the Golden Lion Award, Daniel Buren is now one of France’s most high-profile artists. He is best known for using color stripes in an effort to integrate visual surface with architectural space. Born in Boulogne-Billancourt in 1938, Buren once covered Bern’s billboards with his vertical stripes because he wanted to be involved in Harald Szeemann’s radical exhibition Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form, 1969. He was arrested for the act and had to leave Switzerland.


Often carried out on landmark and historical buildings, much of Daniel Buren’s work has provoked heated debate over the integration of contemporary art and historic sites; most notably at Peinture-Sculpture at the Guggenheim Museum, New York in 1971 and the public commission Les Deux Plateaux, 1986 at the Palais Royal, Paris. Usually 8.7 cm wide, the stripes (white and another color) are labelled “visual tools” by the artist, who works almost exclusively “in situ”, making him one of the first artists whose work related specifically to the site where it was made and shown. His preoccupation with the “scene of production” relates to its settings and challenges influential notions about a work of art being autonomous.


Daniel Buren’s work has been the subject of retrospectives at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2005 and the Centre Pompidou, Paris in 2002. He is featured in major collections around the world including the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and Tate Modern in London. In 2007 Buren was awarded the Praemium Imperiale for painting from Japan and in 2012 he was chosen to exhibit at Monumenta at the Grand Palais, Paris. Buren has also collaborated with the fashion house Hermès on a number of occasions. 

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