Chicago

Daniel Buren

Illinois Central Gulf Railroad and the Art Institute of Chicago

Since the 19th century, Chicago has been a transportation hub and has had to adjust itself to the network of railway lines running parallel to the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Daniel Buren’s Watch the Doors Please, “a work in situ and motion,” takes as its departure point the literal coincidence of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad, a major commuter line. He uses the giant two-story window overlooking the tracks at the entrance to the Art Institute’s Morton Wing as the initial frame for his work (a situation that ironically makes literal the convention of painting as a window on reality). Buren’s now-familiar vinyl, printed with alternating white and colored stripes, has been glued to cover the exteriors of the central double doors of the 165 cars of the fleet. It appears only on the doors that face west—the side visible from the museum window. The colors

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