Daniel Buren: A Schwartz Carriageworks Project, Carriageworks, Sydney
In the same way that Yves Klein is synonymous with his eponymous blue, so too we might associate French artist Daniel Buren with stripes; his complex conceptual works have long employed characteristic stripes to great optical effect, in what we may call a particularly Gallic homage, a play on the Breton stripe. His new installation for Carriageworks, which runs until August 12, entitled Like Child’s Play (Comme Un Jeu d’Enfant), is inspired by German educational theorist Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel’s famous children’s wooden block toys. Buren’s work features more than 100 upscaled blocks, arches, triangles and pediments. The work plays with scale so that the ‘blocks’ are now so monstrously large as to render the viewer small; one can revel in that childlike wonder again.
This childlike sense of play is particularly marvellous; Buren is 80 years old and shows no signs of slowing down. He has exhibited more than ten times at the Venice Biennale, winning the Golden Lion in 1986, and his work has been the focus of exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Throughout his career, Buren has created artworks that complicate the relationship between art and the structures that frame it. His work questions how we look and perceive, and the way space can be used, borrowed, and revealed in its social and physical nature. The neat geometric forms of Buren’s work will sit against the vast scale of Carriageworks, in a continuation of site-specific temporary projects that describe the nature of space.