calatrava railway station in belgium is illuminated by daniel buren

daniel buren’s artwork harmonizes with calatrava’s space

The Santiago Calatrava-designed the station of Liège-Guillemins a Belgium has been transformed with great art exhibition of Daniel Buren. For a year, starting October 15, 2022, the high space is illuminated by a vibrant shade of color, a monumental and temporary work of one of the most famous French artists.

The work, entitled Comme tombées du ciel, les couleurs in situ et en mouvementharmonizes with Calatrava’s rhythmic architecture and floods the railway station with a bold play of colors light. The artwork has been unfolded across the vast array of glass panels that enclose the station’s canopy and will be constantly transformed in response to the changing light during the day and the changing seasons.

images © JL Deru

seven color filters project a patterned display

by Daniel Buren Comme tombées du ciel, les couleurs in situ et en mouvement wraps both the main arched canopy and the two side curtains of the Liège-Guillemins railway station in Calatrava in Belgium. By undertaking the ambitious project, the artist underwent a precise analysis of “as it is”, adopting a minimalist approach to “what was already there and then proposing to transform it”.

Ten thousand square meters of the station roof are wrapped in transparent filters and stickers in seven colors. Five colors – pink, green, blue, white and orange – project a checkerboard pattern from the glass panels while another two – yellow and red – cover the side curtains in a shape “reminiscent of striped panels”, a recurring feature of work of the artist from the 1960s.

daniel buren station belgium

Liège-Guillemins station bathed in light

Apart from the red and yellow of the station awnings, which Daniel Buren included to recall on the flag of Liège, Belgium, the choice of colors and their location is not the result of a specific request or aesthetic preference on the part of the artist. . Instead, they are the result of the colors available for the translucent material, along with a recurring principle in Buren’s work, which is “to place the colors from left to right in the alphabetical order of the country where the work is located”.

daniel buren station belgium

The team writes about Daniel Buren’s trial: ‘The arrangement of colors in a checkerboard pattern allows visitors to contemplate the movement of the sky and the color projections simultaneously, thus allowing visitors to discover and understand the relationship between light and color projection. According to the artist, the meaning of the work would be lost if there was total immersion in color (without the alternating void).

‘The horizontal nature of the work adds visibility to the color projection. This is different from church windows, which project only a minimal amount of color onto the ground due to their verticality. The result is a play of strong contrasts that is both in motion, thanks to the ever-changing projections and reflections, and stable due to the self-adhesive film on the roof. ‘

daniel buren station belgium

It is essential to keep in mind that more than a hundred thousand people pass by this station every week and that they are not there to look at a work of art or anything in particular. We must not lose sight of this: there must be something unexpected to discoverDaniel Buren comments,

It is the sun and the sky that will give life to these entirely colored rectangles with their projections on the tracks, on the people, on the trains, on the objects, on the stairs … These projections will free the color to roam freely. ‘

daniel buren station belgium

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