French artist Daniel Buren adds vibrant colour to glass sails at Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton

by Kim Megson | 11 May 2016

French conceptual artist Daniel Buren has brought vibrant colour to the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, by temporarily adding colourful patterned filters to Frank Gehry’s glass-covered building.

Gehry’s building, which opened in 2014, features 12 glass sails formed by 3,600 pieces of glass. In his work, titled Observation of Light, Buren has added staggered filters to each sail, punctuating them with alternating white and empty bands placed an equal distance apart and oriented perpendicular to the ground.

Thirteen colours have been used based on the range available from local manufacturers and factories; a limitation which Buren said allowed him to explore the question of choice.

The changing light and weather throughout the day alters the projections, reflections and shapes created by the glass inside and outside the building.

"Transparency and quality of a projected colour through a colour filter is, in my opinion, much more alive than painted colour covering a surface,” said Buren, “There are many mirror effects here at the Louis Vuitton Foundation that do not come from mirrors, but windows.

“Almost everywhere, something will be reflected by the colouring of the sails. It is present and active, and I think that will allow people to recognise the uniqueness of the architecture and appreciate it more.”

Bernard Arnault, president of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, added: "Daniel Buren conceived a grandiose, relevant and enchanting project; the result of a genuine dialogue with Frank Gehry and his building.”

Buren’s work officially goes on display today (11 May) and will remain until the end of the year.

The Louis Vuitton Foundation cost €100m (US$113.5m, £78m) to develop. It acts as a venue for art and culture and a public home for the Louis Vuitton brand, creating a new type of museum experience. The building won the Best Architecture & Spatial Design Award at the 2015 Leading Culture Destinations Awards in London.

Speaking at April’s MuseumNext conference in Dublin, a panel of museum industry experts used the Foundation as an example of how brand homes are increasingly extending into the world of museums to provide fans and visitors a different type of museum experience.

Daniel Buren  Frank Gehry  Fondation Lois Vuitton  colour filters  architecture  art  design  Paris 
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French conceptual artist Daniel Buren has brought vibrant colour to the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, by temporarily adding colourful patterned filters to Frank Gehry’s glass-covered building. Gehry’s building, which opened in 2014, features 12 glass sails formed by 3,600 pieces of glass. In his work, titled Observation of Light, Buren has added staggered filters to each sail, punctuating them with alternating white and empty bands placed an equal distance
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The filters will remain in place between 11 May and the end of 2016 / Iwan Baan / Fondation Louis Vuitton
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