On the initiative of the GAMeC, the exhibition of work by the renowned French artist Daniel Buren will open in Bergamo.

After the months of suspension of activity due to the lockdown, GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo announces the exhibition Daniel Buren. Illuminare lo spazio, lavori in situ e situati, which will open on Thursday July 9, 2020 at the historical Palazzo della Ragione, the summer venue of the gallery for the third year in a row.

The opening of a new, major exhibition project of international caliber staged inside one of the emblematic venues of the Italian city most affected by the recent pandemic today takes on a strong symbolic value, as a signal of reawakening and rebirth, as well as its intrinsic artistic and research value.

A leading exponent of Institutional Critique—the tendency towards the critical questioning of artistic institutions which emerged around the end of the 1960s—for the first time in 1965 Daniel Buren used a sun shade as a support for his “degree zero” of painting, the pattern of which with vertical white and colored strips measuring 8.7 cm became the visual tool used by the artist in all his works from then on, be it in exhibitions or public commissions.

Illuminare lo spazio, lavori in situ e situati draws on the encounter between these key points in the artist’s research and his more recent interest in light—in particular in the qualities and esthetic/constructive potential of optic fiber.

Within the evocative context of the Sala delle Capriate, Buren’s luminous  fabrics (presented for the first time here in an Italian museum) redefine the environments historically created for the administration and the application of justice within the city, shedding “new light” on the ancient forms of the palazzo and on the frescoes to be found within it, detached from the façades of houses and churches in the ancient town and placed here in the 1980s.

From the encounter between a group of “in situ” interventions, imagined especially for the space of the room, and a series of “situated” works, i.e. adapted to the spaces of the large chamber yet ideally transferrable to other contexts, Buren’s project for the city of Bergamo starts out, one which for the first time may open its doors on the thought and creativity of the famous French artist, entrusting him with the reinterpretation of one of its most representative historical venues.

Buren’s is a work “for” and “in” the space, a unique sculptural piece with a strong sculptural connotation: independent and anti-decorative, and at the same time encouraging the interpretation and valorization of the preexistent artistic and architectural elements.

The fabrics in luminous fiber are the outcome of Buren’s research, the most recent and updated part of an original and widely celebrated creative career. They do not just represent the technological evolution of concepts and consolidated compositional principles, but to all effects and purposes constitute a new constructive condition, a new way of existing within space by virtue of their peculiar intrinsic qualities, of their being internal bearers of glowing material and at the same time a source of light for their surroundings.

After having been presented in a number of major European galleries and museums, Buren’s optic fibers are to be found here for the first time experiencing a new spatial dimension and unprecedented dialogue with a historical context of great value.

“GAMeC and Bergamo City Council have decided wholeheartedly to confirm the Daniel Buren exhibition, devised and planned more than a year ago under completely different circumstances, in order to give a strong and decisive sign of rebirth on behalf of the city”, says Nadia Ghisalberti, Bergamo City Councillor for Culture. “Palazzo della Ragione, a historical and symbolic place as well as one of great beauty, hosts the third artist of the international exhibition project curated by Lorenzo Giusti as part of the convention stipulated with the City Council. A highly evocative event, one needed now more than ever at this time to restart and rebuild the attractiveness of our city.

“The opening of the Daniel Buren exhibition at Palazzo della Ragione is the most tangible sign of GAMeC’s wish to be close to the community of Bergamo even in this delicate reopening phase,” adds Gallery Director Lorenzo Giusti. The appointment is in fact additional to the activities promoted by the Gallery over recent weeks, designed for the various public groups, including the Children’s Campus (The Museum is Present) in the museum rooms and the events of Radio GAMeC Real Live hosted in the courtyard.

“In such a difficult time for the economy and for culture,” says Alberto Barcella, GAMeC President, “the museum has been able to count on the ongoing support of its Founding Membersthe Municipality of Bergamo and TenarisDalmineas well as new major supporters, such as Barcella Elettroforniture and Italgen, whose contribution has further strengthened the consolidated contribution of Fondazione UBI, Bonaldi Motori, and Carvico.”


Biographical Notes

Daniel Buren was born in 1938 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. From his early posters in the 1960s, on the walls of Paris, New York and Kyoto, to his major public commissions—including the famous Les Deux Pateaux in the Court of Honor at the Palais Royal in Paris—and from his solo shows in museums and galleries right up to major events such as Prospekt, Documenta and the Venice Biennale—where he was awarded the Golden Lion for the Best National Pavilion—all Daniel Buren’s works are conceived on the basis of the place where they are hosted and are produced in situ. In 2007, he received the Praemium Imperiale award for painting in Tokyo.