French Conceptual artist Daniel Buren returns to UK to remind us what all the fuss is about
Daniel Buren: One Thing To Another brings everything that makes the work so affecting outdoors, indoors; and, in process, transforms the interior rooms of the Lisson gallery into what feels like a series of exterior spaces. His first UK exhibition since 2009, this is a welcome return from the French artist and his trademark vertical stripes.
First, the 8.7cm-wide stripes, alternating between white and coloured, need a little explanation: for Buren, these are ‘visual tools’ that ‘permit you to behold something else i.e. to see something beyond the stripe itself, in much the same way that an outline primarily functions to suggest internal space. And, since the 1960s, Buren has used the stripe to mark-out the public spaces of cities – as a neutral sign that make you look to its surroundings, both drawing attention to and critiquing their placement.
So, while in any other context, the would conjure up interior associations such as wallpaper, Buren’s deployment within the Lisson Gallery space retains a powerful connection to exterior public spaces. The first two rooms then, filled with stand alone stripe-works made from woven fibre optics, ask the viewer to look beyond the confines of the walls, and to recalibrate our experience of a gallery space.
More powerful still is Buren’s ‘A Perimeter for a Room’ (2011), a new work made in situ for the Lisson Gallery’s main space, in which a glowing panels of Plexiglas follow the perimeter of the room, washing the walls with colour. Not only does this work fulfil Buren’s mission to make us see the installation context in a new light, altering our perception of space by introducing a new height within the room, it also has the effect of making the interior space somehow exterior – evoking the sensation of looking up in an urban landscape, or perhaps even at a bright summer sky. Words Olivia Mull © 2011 ArtLyst
Daniel Buren: One Thing To Another @ The Lisson Gallery