“Putting a shovel in a gallery or museum signified “this shovel has become art.” And it actually was. The action itself is art, because the artist projects himself in choosing the shovel, and especially in placing it out of context.” – Daniel Buren
Daniel Buren is a French conceptual artist known for his use of stripes and his engagement with the relationship between art and architecture. Born in 1938 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, Buren has been a leading figure in the development of conceptual art since the 1960s. He often uses stripes of contrasting colors to create visual interference patterns that disrupt the visual field and challenge our perceptions of space. Buren also employs stripes in his ‘in situ’ installations, using them to create dynamic interactions between the artwork and the architectural environment in which it is installed. Daniel Buren has been a vocal critic of the way that art is commonly displayed in museums and galleries, and has sought to challenge these conventions through his use of public spaces and non-traditional exhibition venues. This has led to a body of work that is deeply engaged with the social and cultural context in which it is produced, and that seeks to challenge the dominant cultural and political ideologies of our time. Buren’s work is also notable for its exploration of the role of the artist in contemporary society. He has been an advocate for the democratization of art and the expansion of its accessibility to a wider audience. Through his use of public spaces, his engagement with architecture, and his focus on the social context of art, Daniel Buren has expanded our understanding of what art can be and what it can do. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at important institutions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Musee National d’Art Moderne (Paris), Kunsthaus Bregenz and Städtisches Museum (Mönchengladbach).