Feature

Daniel Buren: ‘The Eye of the Storm’

An odd mirrored office tower has been erected in the center of Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiral Guggenheim building…

An odd mirrored office tower has been erected in the center of Frank Lloyd Wright's spiral Guggenheim building, said Michael Kimmelman in The New York Times. Or at least one facade of what looks like an office building, installed by French artist Daniel Buren, runs from floor to ceiling in the immense rotunda. It's a 'œspectacular folly, a lumberingly chilly and theatrical construction.' Buren is popular among art critics who favor conceptual critiques of 'œthe commodity status of art.' It's true that such an installation is hard to sell to anyone else. But Buren's minimalist work seems more concerned with the 'œprivileged ideas circulated' among cloistered art world denizens than with truly populist challenges to the existing art trade. The work itself, however, is actually quite 'œbeautiful,' said David Rimanelli in Artforum.com. Buren has also put colored gel strips on the rotunda's skylight, and the refracting light changes with the time of day, from 'œwarm, diffuse' reds to cool whites. The large mirrored wall is also a 'œresponse to his first, disastrous experience at the museum,' in 1971. The Guggenheim installed the works of 21 artists for a group show, including Buren's floor-to-ceiling hanging striped canvas. But other artists complained that it overshadowed their work, and the curators removed it, creating a nasty art fight. Thirty-four years later, Buren has got his revenge.

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