Monumenta 2012: Buren is thinking outside the box -FINISHED!!

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Reviewed on 06/5/2012 | No Reviews

Photo: © AFP, François Guillot

Every year, Monumenta invites an internationally-renowned contemporary artist to produce a monumental work for display in the Grand Palais. The annual event is already on its fifth edition this year and this time it’s the turn of Daniel Buren, one of France’s greatest artists.

It’s definitely not easy for an artist to deal with the vast, airy nave of the Grand Palais which is breathtakingly beautiful and impressive in itself. What can you do after Anish Kapoor, you might wonder? And you’re right.

All about colours

In case you think of Buren as a minimalist artist whose trademark is vertical stripes and you’re bored already, then forget about everything you might have in your head. Buren is thinking outside the box, for once. It’s all about light here, it’s all about colours this time. Buren has transformed the gigantic space of the nave into a huge watercolour box. Canopies of hundreds of horizontal circles fill the space, creating special effects.

Of course, it’s not the same overwhelming effect, that aesthetic shock that you might have experienced last year, when British artist Kapoor changed the Grand Palais into an existential space.


It’s more a playground this time, a colourful, amusing play with light, but the overall effect is somehow magical too. How to describe it? You can’t. That’s at least what the artist thinks: “It speaks in an absolutely specific way in which words are powerless.”

Exhibition runs until 21 of June 2012. – FINISHED!!
Open every day except Tuesdays. Monday and Wednesday  from 10am to 7pm, Thursday to Sunday from 10am to midnight.
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