Paris: “Daniel Buren & Michelangelo Pistoletto”, the exhibition at the Palais d’Iéna
Opened on 17 October, the works of the two contemporary artists will be exhibited in the Parisian palace in a play with its peculiar architecture: designed by Auguste Perret in 1937, the building is one of the three constructions still standing from the universal exhibition of the same year. The evocative intertwining of Pistoletto and Buren, curated by Matthieu Poirier and supported by Paris+ par Art Basel and Galleria Continua, will be freely open to visitors until 29 October.

“An unprecedented dialogue between two artists with exceptional careers”: these are the words used to describe the juxtaposition between Daniel Buren and Michelangelo Pistoletto, whose works will be brought together and exhibited at the Palais d’Iéna, an art deco building designed in 1937 by the architect Auguste Perret with the idea of housing a new museum dedicated to public works of art. Since 1960, the palace has been the headquarters of the EESC – Conseil économique, social et evironnemental and the ICC – International Chamber of Commerce, as well as a venue for meetings and debates on environmental and social issues. The architecture of the Palais d’Iéna will allow Buren and Pistoletto’s art to “play with the angles of the building,” says curator Matthieu Poirier, “its large spaces, the subtle polychromy of the exposed concrete, its exceptional luminosity, its urban context, the mix of perspectives and levels, and – finally – its complex symmetry”. Paris+ par Art Basel, the modern and contemporary art fair, and Galleria Continua have announced that the works on display at the Palais d’Iéna will be Daniel Buren’s Allegro, ma non troppo, in situ work (2023) and Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Divisione – Moltiplicazione (1973-2023): “The two artists, celebrated in some of the world’s most prestigious museums and institutions, will present an exhibition of their works, a large-scale project conceived and realised in dialogue with the specific characteristics of the building,” says Galleria Continua. Every day from 18 to 22 October, from 2pm to 5:30 pm, students from the École du Louvre will be on hand to guide visitors through the exhibition.

Daniel Buren (photo by Claude Truong-Ngoc), on the left, and Michelangelo Pistoletto.

The artists and the curator
Daniel Buren, one of the most active artists on the international scene, developed a radical type of painting in the 1960s based on an economy of means and a relationship between the work and the place where it is exhibited. The 1960s also marked an important conceptual transition for Michelangelo Pistoletto, a time when the artist began to search for his own identity through the reflective surface, starting with the works entitled The Present and then with his famous Mirror Paintings, an identity that is not unique, but is always associated with the reality that surrounds the artist, hence with the social and the space-time dimensions.
A specialist in abstract art, curator Matthieu Poirier is an art historian, researcher and writer; h
e holds a doctorate from the Université Paris-Sorbonne and is a qualified Maître de conférences. He is currently a member of the AICA – International Association of Art Critics and the IKT – International Association of Contemporary Art Curators: “The project,” he specifies, “will be fully unveiled at the public opening on 17 October. It is an original collaboration, conceived and realised in relation to the peculiarities of the Palais d’Iéna. The characteristics of the approach of these two visual artists,” he concludes, “lend themselves to this invitation”.

Matthieu Poirier, photograph by Marion Berrin for Art Basel.

On the cover image, Daniel Buren (photo by Lorenzo Fiaschi) and Michelangelo Pistoletto (photo by Oak Taylor-Smith).