The first permanent UK public commission of French artist Daniel Buren has officially been inaugurated today in Tottenham Court Road tube station. Titled Diamonds and Circles, works in situ, the work takes over the renovated station with his well-known op-art style geometric shapes and striped patterns. His work joins the station’s famous Eduardo Paolozzi’s mosaics created in the 1980s, which was the subject of controversy when 5% of the historic works had to be removed as part of the renovation.
Daniel said at the opening this morning: “A public work is interesting for me because you can develop the place, the people who use the space, and connections between all of these things…Museums attract only a portion of the population. The public in the Tube station is everyone, and there is a constant flux of people running both ways. I want to offer them a beautiful bubble of oxygen for the spirit.”
Daniel is considered one of France’s most influential living artists. He has previously been celebrated with solo shows at the Guggenheim in New York, Paris’ Centre Pompidou and Fondation Louis Vuitton, and has exhibited at the Venice Biennale 11 times.
Eleanor Pinfield, head of Art on the Underground, which commissioned Daniel’s work, says the work “ask us to consider the pace and path we take as we pass through the station. Daniel Buren has brought the extraordinary into our everyday journey. With works by two of the finest artists of the past fifty years, Tottenham Court Road station is a testament to the power of art in public space.”