DANIEL BUREN, "Observatory of light", Work in situ

Past exhibition - May 2016 to April 2017

DANIEL BUREN L Observatoire de la lumière travail in situ header
DANIEL BUREN, "Observatory of light", Work in situ

Daniel Buren, "Observatory of light", Work in situ


In line with Fondation Louis Vuitton’s commitment to contemporary creation and encouragement of innovative encounters with its architecture, the Fondation Louis Vuitton is presenting from 11 May 2016 a temporary work by Daniel Buren. Developed in close dialogue with the building by Frank Gehry – whose architecture serves as an inspiration to artists - “Observatory of Light” is installed across the glass ‘sails’, the emblematic feature of the building.


The twelve ‘sails’, formed of 3,600 pieces of glass, are covered by a staggering array of coloured filters that are in turn punctuated, at equal distances from one another, by alternating white and blank stripes perpendicular to the ground. The thirteen selected colours is making coloured forms appear and disappear, ever-changing with the time of day and the season. Through a play of colours, projections, reflections, transparencies and contrasts, both inside and outside, Daniel Buren is showing this building in a new light.



Marking this occasion, a catalogue – designed with the artist – is bringing together, for the first time, a considerable body of works based around intersecting themes – colour, transparency, light, translucency, projection – created between the 1970s and today.

Co-edited with publishers Xavier Barral.


Children’s Workshops


Children aged 6 – 10 will be able to enjoy the artist’s work thanks to “The light trap”, a workshop that will enable them to experience the multiple coloured facets of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, which will become a giant kaleidoscope. Tracking the projections and reflections during their discovery process, they will then have a chance to experiment in the workshop with how the play of transparency, opacity and colour modifies one’s perception of space.


Daniel Buren

Major international artist Daniel Buren (1938-FR) has been developing a radical oeuvre characterised by the use of his “visual tool” (8.7 cm-wide alternating white and coloured vertical stripes), since the 1960s. He moved from working with paint (1965-1967) to working with space and its context. All his works are now conceived specifically for the space, context and features of the host venue and are created in situ, be that in a public space or in a museum or art gallery.

“Daniel Buren has designed a grandiose project, pertinent and enchanting, the result of a real dialogue with Frank Gehry and his building. His work responds magnificently to the architecture, in line with his approach, going back to the 1970s, that sees a coming together of colours, transparency and light.” Bernard Arnault, President of the Fondation Louis Vuitton.

The essential

May 2016 to April 2017

Your visit

Free downloadable visit application on your iOS and Android smartphone or available on loan at the welcome desk

Short tours: free and without reservation, duration 15 minutes, departures every 30 minutes, French

For your children: notebook of games for 7-12 year olds and iPad application Archi-moi for free download or available at the welcome desk


© Iwan Baan / Fondation Louis Vuitton

© Iwan Baan / Fondation Louis Vuitton

© Iwan Baan / Fondation Louis Vuitton

© Iwan Baan / Fondation Louis Vuitton

Catalogue Daniel Buren, "Observatory of light", Work in situ

Gehry-Buren : dialogue à la Fondation

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Saturday 21 and sunday 22 september 2019
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En savoir plus
Film court de l'oeuvre de Daniel Buren

"L'Observatoire de la lumière, travail in situ"

Rencontre entre Frank Gehry et Daniel Buren

A la Fondation, le 14 septembre 2016