Carriageworks has announced that acclaimed French conceptual artist Daniel Buren will present a large-scale installation as the fourth major international artist project in the Schwartz Carriageworks series. Daniel Buren will travel to Sydney to present the Australian premiere of his work Like Child’s Play, free to the public at Carriageworks from 7 July until 12 August 2018.

Like Child’s Play is a collaboration between Buren and the French architect Patrick Bouchain. The influence of Bouchain is apparent in the way the objects encourage the feeling of standing in the midst of the architectural model of a city, where we are almost as tall as its roofs and towers. The blocks echo the shapes of house and towers and are laid out to reflect the city beyond the walls of the gallery.

The installation is inspired by German educational theorist Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel’s famous children’s wooden block toys. Buren’s work features 100 upscaled blocks, arches, triangles and pediments. The installation plays with scale so that objects, that as children, we towered over, now dwarf us.

Buren arranges the works to create sight lines through the space. When we look into the void of one object we are looking through a tunnel made of several blocks lined by Buren’s iconic stripes, each 8.7cm wide, which the artist has featured in his work since the mid 1960s. While half the exhibition space is a riot of colour, this is juxtaposed with the minimalist look of the other half with its white floor and white blocks.

“This seminal installation by Daniel Buren at Carriageworks represents the first opportunity for Australian audiences to experience the work one of France's most renowned conceptual artists in Australia,” says Carriageworks director Lisa Havilah.

Internationally recognised as one of France’s foremost contemporary artists, Daniel Buren (b.1938) has exhibited more than ten times at the Venice Biennale, winning the Golden Lion in 1986, and his work has been the focus of exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York. 

Buren’s career spans five decades of interventions, controversial critical texts, thought-provoking public art projects and engaging collaborations with artists from different generations.