‘Diamonds and Circles’ works ‘in situ’ is the first permanent public commission in the UK by the acclaimed French artist, Daniel Buren. The artwork transforms Tottenham Court Road station with Buren’s signature geometric patterns across the vast central ticket hall and multiple station entrances.
Buren’s designs play with simple concepts; shapes, colours and stripes. Buren has created a colourful series of large-scale diamond and circle shapes fixed to the station’s internal glass walls. 2.3m in height and diameter, the diamond and circle shapes repeat through the space. A cabinet containing the ‘parents’ of the forms in three dimensions is installed in a vitrine inside the ticket hall.
‘Diamonds and Circles’ makes us look again at the space of Tottenham Court Road station. It measures out the physical space with stripe and shape, and also asks us to consider the pace and path we take passing through the station. The work sits firmly within Buren’s illustrious practice, and yet presents the public with something wholly new.
Daniel Buren is largely considered France’s greatest living artist and one of the most significant contributors to the conceptual art movement. His major public art interventions can be seen worldwide at locations including The Palais-Royal in Paris; Odaïba Bay, Tokyo and the Ministry of Labour, Berlin. This is his first permanent public commission in the UK offering millions of Tube users and wider public a unique chance to enjoy a world-class piece of contemporary art.
Daniel Buren was selected in 2008 to create a permanent installation at Tottenham Court Road station as part of a £500 million programme transforming the station into one of the key transport interchanges in London. The project was completed in 2017.
Daniel Buren has commented: “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.”
A hardback book of the commission, including installation shots of the work in situ, behind-the-scenes photos, and architects’ drawings and models, was published by Art / Books in June 2017 to coincide with the unveiling of the completed work.