Daniel Buren

Daniel Buren was born in 1938 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. In 1960, he graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Métiers d’Art in Paris. In the middle of the 1960s, Buren formed the BMPT, along with Olivier Mosset, Michel Parmentier and Niele Toroni. The group aspired to what Buren himself defined as the ‘zero grade of painting’. Like the others, Buren chose a recognisable signature for his work: a pattern made of up white vertical stripes, alternated with coloured stripes. In 1971, Buren was at the centre of a famous censure at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. For the sixth 'International Exhibition', Buren proposed a large work with vertical strips that divided Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous spiral into two, as if challenging the presumed neutrality of the exhibition space. The work was felt to be overbearing on both a physical and conceptual level, and met with opposition, particularly among the other artists in the exhibition. It was finally removed. From that moment, Buren became known as one of the main exponents of institutional criticism, a tendency aimed at revealing the dynamics of the art system, highlighting its complicity with politics and the economy.