Monumenta exhibit goes minimalist

May 10, 2012 • Entertainment

Contemporary artist Daniel Buren poses in the Grand Palais during the opening of ground-breaking Monumenta exhibit in Paris, Wednesday May 9, 2012. Monumenta, the hugely-popular annual installation project that’s in its fifth year, dares an artist of international statue to “move into” the nave of one of the French capital’s most monumentus buildings, and own it. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

PARIS (AP) — Art lovers should expect the unexpected in the latest offering of the ground-breaking and normally roof-scraping Monumenta exhibit, as artist Daniel Buren brings the Grand Palais’ lofty ceiling for the first time — literally — down to earth.

Monumenta, the hugely-mediatized annual art project that’s in its fifth year dares an artist of international stature to “move into” the nave of one of the French capital’s most monumental buildings, and own it.

With a space measuring 13,500 square meters (about 145,000 square feet) and 45 meters (150 feet) high, it’s a dizzying feat for any artist, but especially for Buren.

The man, a national treasure in France, is a minimalist artist.

In a testament to the show’s importance, French President-elect Francois Hollande dropped in Wednesday — a day before the opening to the public — for his first cultural event since winning Sunday’s election.

Last year’s leviathan-shaped gargantua by British artist Anish Kapoor is a hard act to follow, scraping the nave’s ceiling, and attracting more than 270,000 people in six and a half weeks.

But as ever, Buren, who won 2007’s “Praemium Imperiale” award, akin to the Nobel Prize for art, thinks outside the box.

Buren’s attempt Login to read more

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