Galleria Continua
San Gimignano
Les Moulins
Sao Paulo

Viewing Room



The metal framework, resembling a sort of scaffolding, that Daniel Buren installed in 2015 for his solo show “Una cosa tira l'altra, lavori in situ e situati, 1965-2015”, yields unexpected perceptions of the ex-cinema theatre space of Galleria Continua, San Gimignano. The artist’s signature contrasting stripes follow the scaffolding, snake-like, vertically delineating the aerial walkways that bring the visitor to different levels and stages, occupying the space in a voluminous but not completely overwhelming way. A dialogue between the structure and the works on show is created as the visitor is brought to interact with 'Planes with Broken Bands of Color (San Gimignano)', the wall drawing designed by Sol LeWitt for the stalls in 2004 and installed in 2009, as well as a series of vantage points that create new perspectives on the other works in show, works by many different artists from approximately 20 years of collaboration with Galleria Continua.

Buren intends to make the context of the work – the space and light – visible to the spectator while stimulating the consciousness of the viewer to create an awareness in as broad a sense as possible. Essential to Buren’s work with scaffolding, which he has done many times throughout his long career, are a series of approaches such as; the ability of the structure to allow the viewer to approach things they may not have been able to before; the freedom the viewer feels to visit what surrounds him or her; that, once mounted, the structure allows the viewer to forget that on which they stand and to look at their surroundings from different points of view; that the structure becomes like a microscope or a telescope allowing us to view things from another place and another perspective and that the structure is able to superimpose itself in relation to its surrounding location without cancelling it out, integrating with it instead.

As the scaffolding structure fills the stalls area, new pathways and possibilities are indeed created and visitors walk where they have never been able to walk before. The place where the art work is situated is therefore redefined, demonstrating the work’s complexity and Daniel Buren’s ideological approach to his art and its ability to create forms of experience. With this, Daniel Buren moves the boundaries of visual art generating new exchanges between art and life. 

Lorenzo Fiaschi, co-founder of Galleria Continua, talks about working with Daniel Buren. 

Una cosa tira l'altra


work in situ

scaffolding, white matt adhesive vinyl large 8,7 cm on green painted wood,

work space dimension

unique work

Una cosa tira l'altra 2


work in situ

scaffolding, white matt adhesive vinyl large 8,7 cm on green painted wood

work space dimension

installation view Art Basel Unlimited, Basel 2018

unique work

An extract of an interview with Daniel Buren by Karim Crippa in occasion of Art Basel Unlimited 2018.

Source: artbasel.com 


For more than five decades, Daniel Buren has tirelessly and radically questioned how art, museums, and audiences relate to each other. Known for his signature pattern of vertical stripes and site-specific interventions, Buren's contribution to this year’s Art Basel’s  Unlimited sector, presented by Galleria Continua, is a piece twenty meters long, and over five meters high. It consists of three platforms linked by staircases, featuring his unmistakable motif. The piece is emblematic of the French artist's oeuvre, interrogating the exhibition space's formal aspects, rather than addressing questions of Buren's worldview or personal history. In this interview, he talks about the significance of his stripe banners, his practice’s ultimate goal, and why he’ll never tell you what his favourite restaurant is.

Tell us about the work you will be showing in the Unlimited sector of Art Basel.

It is similar to a piece I did three years ago at Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, Una cosa tira l’altra [2015]. It continues to investigate scaffolding tubes, a material I first used at least 30 years ago. Visitors can stroll on different platforms and see not only other works, but also the building itself from different heights, which is rarely a given in an exhibition space. They can also walk around it and consider it like a traditional sculpture. Along the different platforms I’m installing a frieze of white and green fabric, which completely transforms the scaffolding and works like a visual guide for the viewer’s gaze. So what I really like about it are the many points of view and options it offers.

Can you remember the first time you used the material?

It must have been for a show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. I had built a very large, straight staircase on scaffolding that went from the entrance hall to the first floor, replacing the very tortuous original one. Another time, I built a spiraling structure around a fountain in Rotterdam that has a large column topped with an angel sculpture. It looked perfectly regular from below, but once you reached the sculpture, you would realize it was at least 3 meters high. From up there, you could then see an area of the city’s famous port you don’t notice at street level.

I also partially enveloped the Musée Rath in Geneva with scaffolding and black and white fabric for Une Enveloppe peut en cacher une autre [1989]. That was yet another way of using the material. I really like the way it allows me to modulate vertical space in a simple manner. It’s easy to use, very supple, and gives you the possibility to achieve strikingly extravagant results.

Movement seems to be inherent in your practice. Many of your works are installed in situations of transit – are you interested in this idea of people passing through them in an almost subconscious way?

Yes, it has always interested me on a philosophical level. When I first explored that idea, I would install my works on moving objects such as escalators, buses, or train cars. It was a way of introducing the temporality of movement to the viewer. In that vein, I think my most successful piece was shown at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1980. From a large window on one of the museum’s sides, you could see train tracks. I had systematically covered the doors of all trains passing there with adhesive paper in five different colors. In the exhibition space itself, all you could see were the work’s title, Watch the doors please!, and the trains’ timetable. It was very funny – sometimes you would have 20 to 30 people waiting there, and when the train passed by, they would have six seconds to see the work. The question it addressed had barely been considered – how much time does one need to look at an artwork? We’re so freed from that question we don’t consider it, but in that case, the time of vision was included in the work’s context.

That must have been exciting for the viewer. It actually brings me back to a statement of yours – ‘My work is supposed to be boring.’ Given the attention your practice generates, do you think the public is actually interested in boredom, or do your works fail in their mission to be boring?

[Laughs.] Well, maybe that’s true! But you see, that statement only reflects what people were saying about my work early on. I have been using stripes – without knowing I would be using them for so long – as a simple and ultimate pattern. I don’t show stripes, they allow me to show things. What happens around them? How does the work influence its environment? I’m the first one to tell you they are banal and boring. If you see them as a painting, you’re on the wrong track. They are meant to challenge the idea of a frozen point of view.

So your work is intrinsically linked to the power it gives the viewer?

That’s the best I can do. When someone tells me, ‘That precise angle makes your work beautiful’, I always answer, ‘You’re absolutely right’, even if I myself see 150 other interesting points of view. You’re allowed to have a preference. More than power, my work should give the viewer a lot of freedom.

Karim Crippa is an author and occasional curator based in Vienna, Austria. 


artmap: DANIEL BUREN Una cosa tira l’altra, lavori in situ e situati, 1965-2015

atpdiary: Art Basel Unlimited: un 2018 in scala ridotta

arte.it: DANIEL BUREN Una cosa tira l’altra, lavori in situ e situati, 1965-2015



‘Fuori tempo, a perdita d’occhio’

Galleria Continua / San Gimignano

Opening: 26 September 2020

Une diagonale pour un périmètre


work in situ

green adhesive vinyl large 8,7 cm on white wall

unique work

A diagonal is drawn starting from one of the lower corners of the room and develops over the four walls to come back to the initial corner, but this time in its higher part. The white and green striped paper that covers the entire lower part of this diagonal traces a climbing spiral attacking the walls, creating a new perception of the space, of the emptiness and of solid presence of colour.

Peinture acrylique blanche sur tissu blanc et rouge / Le Reste

August 1975

situated work

white acrylic painting on fabric in white and red alternated and vertical stripes of 8,7 cm each

172,7 x 141,5 cm

unique work

The principle of most Buren’s paintings was to be done on coloured bed sheets, canvases for blinds and mattresses. In late August 1975, while going to Venice from Sainte-Croix (Virgin Islands) to stock up on glass paste, Buren stopped in Paris, at the Marché Saint-Pierre. Here he bought few metres of multicolour striped fabrics, of differing and equal widths.

Back in Sainte-Croix Buren realized that the striped fabric with bands of equal width corresponded almost exactly to the widths that he was producing himself; that was the beginning of his work made by equal bands more or less 8.7 cm wide.

In this way the artist obtained the desired result to keep the work from looking too pictorial, that is giving them a «mechanist rigmarole». Painting in wthite the last two stripes at each end is the minimal intervention on the canvas in a fundamental relation between figure and ground, between the paint applied and the very prominent support.

The missing triangle is kept by the artist and can be shown (with the agreement of the work’s owner) in the exact position as if it was still part of the entire work.

A Frame in a Frame in a Frame, N° 39 Red - Aka


situated work

adhesive vinyl sheets with red and white stripes of 8,7 cm each glued on / under framed glasses

217,5 x 217,5 cm

11 elements: 2 (50 x 50 cm), 3 (50 x 75 cm), 2 (25 x 25), 2 (50 x 25 cm) 2 (25 x 75 cm)

85,63 x 85,63 in

11 elements: 2 (19,69 x 19,69 in), 3 (19,69 x 29,53 in), 2 (9,84 x 9,84 in), 2 (19,69 x 9,84 in) 2 (9,84 x 29,53 in)

unique work

Peinture sur medium – D – Hortensia

October 1991

situated work

hortensia acrylic paint on MDF wood and white adhesive vinyl large 8,7 cm

1 frame (exterior: 200,1 x 200,1 x 1,9 cm) - (interior: 147,9 x 14,.9 x 1,9 cm), 1 frame (exterior: 78,3 x 78,3 x 1,9 cm) - (interior: 26,1 x 26,1 x 1,9 cm)

1 frame (exterior: 78,78 x 78,78 x 0,75 in) - (interior: 58,23 x 58,23 x 0,75 in), 1 frame (exterior: 30,83 x 30,83 x 0,75 in) - (interior: 10,28 x 10,28 x 0,75 in)

unique work

Couleurs et Ombres portées N°8


situated work

white matt adhesive vinyl and blue adhesive vinyl on transparent Plexiglas, white paint on metallic structure, cable

200 x 200 cm

78,74 x 78,74 in

unique work

Le Carré reconstruit -D


situated work

red adhesive vinyl large 8,7 cm on white wall, mirror

unique work

Les couleurs suspendues n°5


situated work

colored transparent adhesive vinyl, translucent white matt adhesive vinyl, Plexiglas, black paint on metallic frame, cable

140 x 412 x 3 cm

55,12 x 162,2 x 1,18 in

unique work

De travers et trop grand - bleu


work in situ

blue adhesive vinyl large 8,7 cm on white wall

350 x 350 cm (variable dimensions)

137,8 x 137,8 in (variable dimensions)

unique work

A slanted square gets out of the wall’s limit to exceed on the floor. Once again Buren steps over the given square and plays to find the perfect verticalità of stripes after the square’s rotation.

Colore, luce, proiezione, ombra, trasparenza, lavoro situato n°4


situated work

adhesive colored transparent vinyl, white matt adhesive stripes large 8,7 cm on transparent Plexiglas, mirror, metallic structure

200 x 200 cm

78,74 x 78,74 in

unique work

Buren uses in this work the mutability of mirrors and the play of empty and full spaces, in relation to the light as an extention and counterbalance of precise geometry of lines. The work activates in this way the space around it and remains open to a variety of unpredictable effects.

Colore, luce, proiezione, ombra, trasparenza, lavoro situato n°6


situated work

adhesive colored transparent vinyl, white matt adhesive stripes large 8,7 cm on transparent Plexiglas, metallic structure

200 x 200 cm

78,74 x 78,74 in

unique work

Buren uses in this work the mutability of colours in relation to the light as an extention and counterbalance of precise geometry of lines. The work activates in this way the space around it and remains open to a variety of unpredictable effects.

La scacchiera arcobaleno ondeggiante


work in situ

Palatino, Roma

35 flags of coloured fabric printed with white vertical stripes 8,7 cm large, metal

unique work

Buren places 35 high flags on the top of the roman Colle Palatino, one of the symbols of the ancient splendour of the town, very close to the Colosseum. Swaying in the wind, the flags, stream across the sky like a moving rainbow, capturing the viewer’s attention and redefining the whole perception of the space.

La Cabane éclatée transparente II


situated work

Plexiglas, wood, cotton canvas in white and black alternated and vertical stripes of 8,7 cm, white paint

234,9 x 234,9 x 237,5 cm

92,48 x 92,48 x 93,5 in

unique work

The hut is an architectural open form that invites the viewer to enter inside. The « exploded » structure allows light to penetrate through its doors, plunging into a brightness of multiple reflections, given by its transparency. It functions as a sort of prism that provokes an overturn of senses.

The spectator is encouraged to look at the work from varied angles and perspectives, from the inside and the outside. Buren defines the exploded huts as « sites in sites, places in places ». These are mobile, can be reconstituted in other spaces and incorporate their place of representation as integral part of their visual result. Consequently, the relation between the work and its sites, or places, is complex, because the features of each element is transformed by this interaction.

As soon as the spectator accesses the extraordinary realm of the exploded huts, where the common perspectives are fundamentally requestioned and redefined, he has to readjust the relations he maintains with the surrounding world.