Starting May 11th, 2016, the Louis Vuitton Foundation will exhibit a site-specific installation by the French artist Daniel Buren, titled Observatory of Light. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the building that houses this museum of contemporary art has more than 3,500 glass panels that will be subject to the interference of 13 chromatic filters equidistant from each other. Thus, the institution`s headquarters will receive the impact of different tones and colors according to the light of day.
The filters created by Buren manipulate the sunlight to create contrasts, shadows, and reflections, generating silhouettes, figures, and projections that will appear, disappear or assume various shapes with the movement of the sun as the day goes by.
“Daniel Buren has designed a grandiose project, pertinent and enchanting, the result of a real dialogue with Frank Gehry and his building. His work responds magnificently to the architecture, in line with his approach, going back to the 1970s, that sees a coming together of colors, transparency and light,” said Bernard Arnault, President of the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
Daniel Buren (Boulogne-Billancourt, 1938) is a French conceptual artist, recognized by the audacity of his visual and spatial proposals. Critics and theorists have classified him as an abstract minimalist who likes to complicate things with his artistic practice focused on the historicity of already built structures.
Buren`s participation in projects for Vuitton dates back to 2012, when—in preparation for the presentation of the spring-summer 2013 collection—the artists designed the windows of Louis Vuitton with motifs and perspectives that generated quite an impact with their sensational optical illusions, which caught the public’s attention.
During the organization of such event, Buren`s interventions were not limited to the windows and spread even to the scenery prepared for the fashion shows. His ideas were so assertive that the collaboration between Vuitton and Buren has been systematic.
Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, France
In Observatory of Lights, along with the vibrant mise-en-scene between the sun and the colored glasses, the cultural center also will launch a new catalog produced in collaboration with the publisher Xavier Barral, which shows in detail a collection of artistic works that illustrate the intersection of chromatics, lighting, projections and transparencies, all created from 1970 to date.
The exhibition’s allure is enhanced by the presence of Buren Cirque—a contemporary circus also conceived by Buren together with Dan and Fabien Demuynck— on the grounds of the Foundation. The attraction, in which art and entertainment meet, will be presenting the show called 3 Times a Hut, inspired by the architecture of amusement parks. The circus will offer performances on June 2, 3 and 4. ■