This summer, experience Voile/Toile – Toile/Voile, the US premiere of a major public artwork by conceptual artist Daniel Buren (France, b. 1938). For more than 50 years, Buren has been extending the possibilities of painting, placing brightly striped works in public spaces—on monuments, city squares, billboards, and train stations—around the world. Voile/Toile – Toile/Voile is a two-part artwork comprising a public performance and installation, marking the first presentation of the work in the United States. The performance takes the form of a sailboat regatta on Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun) in Minneapolis on June 23, featuring the artist’s signature custom-made, striped sails. An outdoor installation of the sails will be featured in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden’s Cowles Pavilion on the Walker campus. Conceived especially for Minneapolis, known also as the “City of Lakes,” Buren’s commission celebrates the area’s unique landscape and identity.
The title Voile/Toile – Toile/Voile translates to Sail/Canvas – Canvas/Sail, a play on words that emphasizes the dual nature of the striped canvases as both painting and sail, removing painting from its lofty tradition and inserting it into a discourse of utility. For this work, Buren considers the sail to be a painting and the water to be its exhibition space. When the sails are put on display, he states, “they are canvases that sail the wall, they expose and exhibit themselves as such, but if you go back to their source, they are and will be for a long time to come, painting setting sail.”
Curator: Pavel Pyś with Fabián Leyva-Barragán