Peinture aux formes variables, [septembre-octobre], 1966
Peinture acrylique sur toile de coton / Acrylic on cotton fabric
217 x 200,5 cm (sur châssis / on canvas)
Collection Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
© DB - Adagp, Paris .2019
© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage
In 1965, attracted to the ordinariness of an industrial fabric, Daniel Buren understood the possibility to approach art in an impersonal way and reduce his pictorial intervention to its simplest expression in order to achieve what he refers to as “degree zero of painting.”
Buren produced a series of works with the pattern as background, to which he applied a layer of white acrylic paint in pre-defined areas. Peinture aux formes variables, [sept.-oct.] 1966 and Peinture acrylique blanche sur tissu rayé blanc et gris, [nov.-dec.] 1996, two works from the collection, belong to this group. The artist methodically coats the bands of color situated at the edges of the canvas. Using great economy of means, this process of erasing and covering up plays both visually and formally between the background (the support) and the form (the paint). Presented in two ways—fastened to the floor or leaning against the wall—these two historic works, representative of this transitional period in Buren’s career, heralded his rupture with painting and a shift towards a focus on space and its context. Thereafter, each work would be created according to the particularities of the host space—in other words, in situ.