Acclaimed contemporary French artist Daniel Buren is bringing his captivating large-scale installation to Sydney's Carriageworks. The fourth work in the Schwartz Carriageworks series, a five-year collaboration between veteran Melbourne art collector Anna Schwartz and the contemporary art space, Buren is coming to Sydney to present the Australian premier of his Like Child's Play (Comme Un Jeu d'Enfant) artwork.
Running from July 7 to August 12, Like Child's Play is inspired by the German theorist Friedrich Fröbel, who laid the modern-day foundations for the education of children – perhaps most famously through the use of wooden block toys. Using more than 100 blocks, arches, triangles and pediments that have been amplified in size, Buren upends Fröbel's work by shifting the focus from toys we towered over as children, to structures that loom over us as adults.
First presented at France's Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in 2014, Buren carefully arranges the varied installations to produce differing sight lines throughout the space. These large cavities are made up of multiple blocks each featuring Buren's iconic striped designs, and while one half of the installation is an explosion of colour, the opposing half takes on a minimalist appeal with white floors and white structures. Like Child's Play carries on Buren's long exploration of the relationship between art and its shapes, considering how we perceive, borrow and use space.
Buren has exhibited numerous times at the Venice Biennale – winning the prestigious Golden Lion award for his French Pavilion in 1986 – and has held solo exhibitions at Paris' Centre Pompidou and New York's Guggenheim Museum. Throughout a career spanning more than 50 years, Buren has been an agitator creating controversial texts, provocative public artworks and forging inventive collaborations with emerging and established artists.