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Buren, Daniel
Papiers collés blanc et rouge [/ et jaune / et bleu].
Antwerpen: Wide White Space Gallery, 1971-1973.

#17152. Group of three poster-invitations, from consecutive exhibitions at Wide White Space Gallery (1971, 1972, and 1973). Offset lithographs printed to large sheets (52 x 76.7 cm., machine-folded into panels of 26 x 19.2 cm.). With glossy rectos featuring red, yellow, and blue stripes, respectively; buff versos presenting details of contemporary exhibition, preceded by cancelled details for preceding exhibitions. Small pinholes to corners of blue invitation, with short (0.5 cm.) tear to bottom of red; otherwise an incredibly well-preserved group. Accompanied by a prospectus for an unpublished monograph on this landmark series of exhibitions; plain white card (10.5 x 15 cm.), with minimalist text in Dutch, French, and English. Small bumps to card, with faint spotting.

To claim one of the milestones in conceptual art, Daniel Buren worked with Wide White Space Gallery to craft a sequential exhibition (1969-1974) in which the line was blurred between the event and its invitation.

For this site-specific work, Buren ordered glossy poster-sized sheets to be printed featuring 87 mm-wide colour stripes to their rectos. When he arrived in Antwerp, he pasted these sheets to the exterior and interior walls of the gallery as a continuous frieze, with its parameters dictated by the architecture of the gallery; “longueur comprise entre le premier obstacle extérieur en façade (boitier électrique) et le premier obstacle intérieur (chauffage).” Across five iterations of this exhibition, the only variable to change was the colour of the stripes, selected (without Buren's input) by gallerists Anny de Decker and Bernd Lohans: green, red, yellow, blue, and brown.

To complete the work, the invitations received by Wide White Space's patrons featured the same 87 mm. colour stripes as the frieze that they were about to experience—calling back to Buren’s 1967 mail-art work Sans Titre - Envoi postal, albeit with a sublime twist. “Par conséquent, les expositions successives peuvent apparaître rétrospectivement comme autant de variations engendrées par l'announcement poster initial. Chaque invitation envoyée peut en effet être interprétée non pas seulement comme un fragment de l'oeuvre ou de l'exposition, mais comme son module de base. L'invitation devient ainsi la condition de l'exposition. Renversant les rapports usuels de subordination de l'invitation à l'exposition, et de l'exposition à l'oeuvre, l'invitation est première, condition de possibilité de l'oeuvre et de l'exposition à la fois. Mais une fois l'oeuvre in situ détruite, l'invitation se transforme aussi en vestige ultime” (Anne Moeglin-Delcroix).

This set of the middle three invitations is accompanied by an announcement card for a summary publication on this work (which appears to have never been issued).

Scarce in OCLC holdings, with only the museum library at Köln recording copies for these three invitations, in addition to the first invitation (green) from 1969. (MoMA indeed has the full set of five). Title here taken from the catalogue raisonné on Buren's website; this work also referred to as Travail in situ and Skirting board.


1500 USD

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Jason Rovito, Bookseller / ILAB, ESA, RBMS / Avant-garde. design history, human sciences / Because the Cloud forgets