Daniel Buren - 20th C. & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Konrad Fischer, Dusseldorf
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Dusseldorf, Galerie Konrad Fischer, Zu Unterstreichen (Fragmente), February 18 - April 15, 1989

  • Catalogue Essay

    Zu Unterstreichen, travail situé – to underscore, to emphasize, to underline in German – is a prime example of Daniel Buren’s body of striped works, begun in the mid-1960s and steadfastly continued throughout his career. Designed to dramatically alter the viewer’s perception of space, Buren’s striped compositions have been conceived in many media, both two- and three-dimensional, as structural works depending on the space in which they were made – in situ – sometimes subsequently displaced and transformed into situated works. Divided in two panels of identical dimensions, one placed on top of the other, Zu Unterstreichen, travail situé, 1989, exceptionally embodies the crux of Buren’s idiosyncratic gesture.

    Across its two surfaces, six black bands stretch in a vertical pull, separated by large white counterparts. In keeping with Buren’s systemic practice, all bands are of similar width – 8.7 cm. or 3 3/8 inches – an exact measure that the artist began using roughly 54 years ago when he introduced the motif and continued employing unflinchingly ever since. “I use it [the stripe] and it’s a reason I invented a term, which I call ‘visual tool’,” the artist said. “It’s not only something you can recognize; it’s also something I can use to change an environment” (Daniel Buren, quoted in Emily McDermott, “Stripes Across the Decades”, Interview Magazine, March 6, 2015, online).

    Executed in 1989, Zu Unterstreichen, travail situé coincided with a time when Buren began receiving increasing critical and institutional attention in France and overseas. Just three years earlier, he had placed 260 columns of varying heights in the inner courtyard of the Palais Royal, Paris, prominently occupying its vast space with his signature black and white bands. That same year, Buren had exhibited a solo pavilion for France at the Venice Biennale, and was awarded the prestigious Golden Lion award for his in situ. With his idiosyncratic stripes, Buren aimed to “challenge the idea of a frozen point of view" and "upturn the viewers’ expectations of the environment that surrounds them" (Daniel Buren, quoted in Karim Crippa “Freedom to the viewer! An interview with Daniel Buren”, ArtBasel, 7 June 2018, online).


Zu Unterstreichen, travail situé

white acrylic paint on cotton canvas in alternating vertical white and black stripes each with a width of 3 3/8 in. (8.7 cm.), in 2 parts
each 38 x 38 in. (96.6 x 96.6 cm.)
Executed in February 1989.

An Avertissement will be established by Daniel Buren under the name of the purchaser, and will be signed by the latter. Every work since 1968 is accompanied by a document certifying it.

Estimate On Request

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th C. & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 13 November 2019