Daniel Buren - Evening & Day Editions London Wednesday, January 17, 2024 | Phillips

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  • Since 1965, Daniel Buren's installation works have been defined by the enduring presence of 8.7 cm-wide vertical stripes. These stripes find expression in paintings and objects, but predominantly in site-specific public installations, such as Les Deux Plateaux in the inner courtyard of the Palais Royal (1986-present) and L'Observatoire de la lumière at the Fondation Louis Vuitton (2016-17), both in Paris. Buren's interventions unfold in situ, actively engaging with and transforming the spaces they inhabit. By appropriating and colouring these environments, his installations become critical tools that provoke contemplation on how we perceive and interact with space, both physically and socially. Buren's nuanced exploration prompts viewers to reconsider the dynamics of observation and to question how we engage with art. In doing so, he not only demonstrates that art can exist anywhere, but also blurs the boundary of where art begins and ends.


    Daniel Buren, Les Deux Plateaux, 1985-86, Palais-Royal, Paris.
    Image: imageBROKER.com GmbH & Co. KG / Alamy Stock Photo, Artwork: © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2023

    Buren’s 25 Enamel Plates subverts the notion that art should be confined to a frame. The steel plates, enamelled in Buren’s iconic 8.7cm-wide stripes, must be precisely mounted on a wall in five rows of five plates. The plates on the top row must touch the ceiling and the plates on the bottom row must touch the floor, with the plates in between positioned equidistantly. Consuming the wall entirely, the artwork sparks conversation with the architecture. Collaboration is inherent to 25 Enamel Plates, as the artwork's creative process is complete once the owner installs it in their own space. In addition, 25 Enamel Plates, is emblematic of Buren’s larger site-specific artworks, as it presents a playful approach to spatial relations that challenges established viewing conventions.


    25 Enamel Plates is part of the Wall Works project, launched in the early 1990s by Edition Schellman to investigate the symbiotic relationship between art and architecture. Conceived from Jörg Schellman's interest in architectural installations and the potential for  realising them as editions, the project invited artists to envision site-specific artworks that could create dynamic dialogues with a variety of environments. The resulting artworks, produced in small editions of around twelve to fifteen from artists including Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst, Kara Walker and Andy Warhol, are diverse and encompass a wide range of media. Each Wall Work is accompanied with installation instructions specified by the artist, allowing the artwork to be installed in a variety of locations. Fusing art and architecture, the dynamic nature of these works unfolds in response to the characteristics of their environment, as unique relationships and meanings are created with each iteration.

    “Increasingly the limitation of fine art editions to prints and objects did not seem to reflect the technical possibilities and the recent developments in artistic strategies and actual art production. Installation in architecture had become an important issue both in theory and artistic practice. Edition Schellmann was trying to develop an idea as to how the concept of installation in a given architectural space could be realised as an edition. The result was the Wall Works project. It celebrates the basic idea of architecture being the ‘mother, the synthesis of the arts’. From the cave drawing on, in the development of the work of art, it has been an integral part of architecture.” 
    —Jörg Schellmann

    • Provenance

      Personal copy of the publisher and part of the Archive of Edition Schellmann since time of publication

    • Literature

      Jörg Schellmann, ed., Wall Works, Munich/New York, 1999, pp. 29-33
      Jörg Schellmann, ed., Forty Are Better Than One, Munich/New York, 2009, pp. 58-59 and p. 400

Works from the Archive of Edition Schellmann to benefit the Ars Publicata Project


25 Enamel Plates, from Wall Works

The complete set of 25 steel plates with light red and white baked enamel, to be installed on a wall with each plate equidistant in five rows of five plates and five columns of five plates.
each plate 43.5 x 43.5 cm (17 1/8 x 17 1/8 in.)
installation size variable and according to wall

Signed and numbered '1/3 A.P.' in blue ink on the accompanying Certificate of Authenticity (an artist's proof set, the edition comprised 15 colour variants), published by Edition Schellmann, Cologne and New York. This Wall Work is to be installed according to the artist's specifications on the Certificate of Authenticity.

Full Cataloguing

£10,000 - 15,000 ‡♠

Sold for £35,560

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+44 20 7318 4024

Rebecca Tooby-Desmond
Specialist, Head of Sale, Editions

Robert Kennan
Head of Editions, Europe

Anne Schneider-Wilson
Senior International Specialist, Editions

Louisa Earl
Associate Specialist, Editions

Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 17 - 18 January 2024