Paris, Musée National Picasso


Daniel Buren made his name in the 1970s with artworks made from stripes of 8.7cm in width in alternating white and another color. He began inserting them into real-life situations, such as on the doors of subway trains, and extended his artistic vocabulary to include geometric arrangements of color. He still globe-trots today, creating site-specific installations. One of the latest is at the Picasso Museum in Paris, which gave him carte blanche.

Buren's intervention is totally uplifting, greeting you from the outside as you approach the cobbled entrance. The French artist has placed brightly colored film on some of the windowpanes and an aluminum wall with a black diagonal slash at a right angle to the building, so that the colored windows are reflected. Similar play with the interior architecture sees his stripes appearing on the staircase and black and aluminum structures dividing spaces in the galleries. His installation is so unimposing and subtle that many visitors to the museum seem oblivious to it.

The significance of Buren's creating this installation is twofold. Before the Hôtel Salé became home to the Picasso museum in 1985, it housed the École des Métiers d'Arts, where Daniel Buren was a student in the painting section. And a couple of years earlier, Buren had met Picasso, who invited him to the set of the film "Mystère Picasso" (1955).


October 25, 2008, through Autumn 2009
Hôtel Salé
5, rue de Thorigny
75003 Paris
T. +33 (0)1 42 71 70 84