Daniel Buren- Monumenta 2012 at Grand Palais-paris

French contemporary artist, Daniel Buren was this year’s invited artist who moved into the Grand Palais in Paris with a brand new work for Monumenta 2012. A year ago, we caught Anish Kapoor’s Leviathan as part of Monumenta 2011 and before that Christian Boltanski and Richard Serra have created site specific works for the Grand Palais.

Daniel Buren - Monumenta 2012 - Grand Palais Paris - sydney arts blog
Daniel Buren - Monumenta 2012 - Grand Palais Paris - sydney arts blog

The Grand Palais space was transformed by Daniel Buren with rows of different coloured perspex discs, on legs. High above the discs, he replaced some clear glass panels in the nave roof with blue glass which created a patchy blue sky when Paris had mostly grey skies. Walking underneath the discs was like walking through a forest on a sunny day with dappled light from high trees. This was a work for everyone to interact with – it’s so huge and fun that we had to engage with it.

Daniel Buren - Monumenta at Grand Palais Paris - sydneycool arts blog
Daniel Buren - Monumenta at Grand Palais Paris - sydneycool arts blog

To Daniel Buren three concepts are key – colour, when he came on to the international art scene, his use of strong colour set him apart from his contemporaries. Second – work in situ – his work examines the sites in which they were placed and created for. The most celebrated example – his 1986 work, Les Deux Plateaux at the Palais Royal which created controversy – the black and white marble columns of different heights set against the classicism of the Palais. Lastly, light is critical to Daniel Buren’s work and how it plays with colour – this work uses natural light to build impact.

Daniel Buren - Les Deux Plateaux - Palais Royal Paris - sydneycool arts blog

Once again, Monumenta is a winner – Anish Kapoor gave us huge aubergine shapes that filled the Grand Palais – Daniel Buren again filled the space – with light, colour and mass. Monumenta is exciting, challenging art on a huge scale – we love how Paris gives us large scale contemporary visual art set against the grandeur of this beautiful city.

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