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Since 1965, Daniel Buren has consistently used vertical stripes of 8.7 cm in width to create his work. These stripes alternate between white or transparent and coloured. Together they form his ‘visual toolkit’. Buren employs this stripe design to focus attention on the nature and use of a specific location. In the period 1976–83, he used his stripes to develop a work in situ for the Stedelijk Museum. Buren applied this work to the walls of the entrance hall and the stairwell of the museum, introducing his striped design to the spandrels of the arches throughout this space. The regularity and frequent repetition of the pattern draws in the viewer’s gaze, as though looking into a kaleidoscope. Buren derived the colours from Henri Matisse’s large cut-out The Parakeet and the Mermaid, which is also in the Stedelijk’s collection.
c/o Pictoright Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam


Translated title

Kaleidoscope, a Work in Situ



Production date

1976/1980 idee, 1983 uitvoering


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64.5 x 63cm.


acrylic on perspex

Object number

A 38859