6 things to know about Daniel Buren's exhibition kicking off at Mount Nelson

From Cape to Rio, we get into the details of the internationally renowned artist's exhibition

12 March 2024 - 12:32 By Staff Writer
subscribe Just R20 for the first month. Support independent journalism by subscribing to our digital news package.
Subscribe now
Daniel Buren in front of his installation at the Mount Nelson.
Daniel Buren in front of his installation at the Mount Nelson.
Image: Photo-Souvenir: Daniel Buren, Colourful Halt for Mount Nelson, work in situ, 2023. Detail. © DB-ADAGP

The third season of MITICO, Belmond’s annual artistic series with Galleria Continua, will focus on a single artist for the first time — internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Daniel Buren.

Titled Haltes Colorées, meaning “colourful halt”, each of the six site-specific works offers its audience a moment to pause for a fresh new perspective on its surrounding location and unique corresponding landscape. Sharing his insights on this year’s series, Buren said: “What brings together the six Haltes of the 2024 MITICO season (Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, Tuscany, Florence, Venice and Mallorca) is the beauty of each location's environment. Celebrating nature and architecture, these six highly varied in situ works offer a new perspective on Belmond's properties, fitting into a different space each time.”


The journey begins at the foot of Cape Town’s Table Mountain at the iconic Mount Nelson. At the heart of the hotel, the new work surrounds the garden fountain — a true historical landmark feature, present before the hotel’s inception. As the hotel celebrates 125 years, its role as the joyful home of Cape Town is reinforced with this bold commission, which kicks off its annual cultural programming, closely followed by an unprecedented exhibition at the Mount Nelson, in collaboration with the Norval Foundation.

Known for creating architectural interpretations of environments through colour and stripes, Buren uses the fountain’s circular shape as his base, installing three-metrepillars around which mirrors and stripes alternate.


The second stop on MITICO’s global journey is Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, where Buren has taken inspiration from the city’s vibrant energy to create his most monumental work of the series — Escala colorida para Copacabana Palace, trabalho in situ, 2023. Coloured vinyl records adorn Copa’s famous façade, transforming the building from the inside out. As the day progresses, hotel visitors and guests will notice the work’s ever-evolving nature as light and shade intermingle, creating a play of shadow and colourways.


Set on an expansive estate with 1,300 hectares of rolling hills in the heart of Tuscany, Buren’s response to Castello di Casole has been to create three “portals” — a circle, a square, and a triangle — through which to view this natural beauty. Covered in geometric black and white stripes the “portals”, titled Sosta colorata per Castello di Casole, lavoro in situ, 2023, will be placed in the gardens, where they will create new focal points within this sprawling panoramic vista. By integrating natural abundance into the artworks, Buren brings the Tuscan hills into the Castello’s gardens, while maintaining their independent beauty and accentuating the intrinsic connection between this property and its surrounding land.


Buren makes his next stop at Villa San Michele — a 15th-century former monastery perched in the Fiesole Hills overlooking Florence. Inspired by this Renaissance masterpiece, with a façade attributed to the school of Michelangelo, Buren has selected a novel location for his work, Sosta colorata per Villa San Michele, lavoro in situ, 2024. The hotel bar’s glass roof, formerly a small cloister, becomes Buren’s canvas, turning an area at the epicentre of the hotel into a destination.

Here travellers are invited to settle in and experience the architecture in a new light, as coloured reflections sweep the space with the transit of the sun. This work joins Leandro Erlich’s Window & Ladder and The Cloud which remain as a permanent staple of the hotel from MITICO’s first series in 2022.


The next leg of this creative expedition is Hotel Cipriani in Venice, where Buren's artwork is exclusively curated by Galleria Continua and Hervé Mikaeloff. Here again,  Buren focuses on the hotel’s fountain — a historic architectural relic also dating back to before the construction of the hotel itself.

While at Mount Nelson, the fountain inspired Buren to create pillars mirroring the landscape. At Hotel Cipriani, he constructs a new immersive circular structure of coloured windows and doors. The white stripes on this work, titled Sosta colorata per Hotel Cipriani, lavoro in situ, 2023, seamlessly tie it into the rest of the global project.


Finally, at La Residencia in Mallorca, Buren offers his own interpretation of a space which is no stranger to artistic interventions. Nestled in the creative enclave of Deià, host to regular artist residencies organised alongside Galleria Continua, and home to 33 original works by Joan Miró, the hotel is brimming with cultural creativity. Buren’s intervention adds a new layer to this long-standing legacy, taking over the terrace with a colourful and immersive installation.

The work, Descanso colorido para La Residencia, creates a new visual experience for guests, creating a translucent pergola that follows the contours of the terrace, projecting a rainbow onto its surroundings that evolves with the course of the sun. Under this canopy, Buren invites guests to rest and contemplate the Mediterranean landscape with fresh eyes, in the heart of the Unesco-protected Sierra de Tramuntana.

subscribe Just R20 for the first month. Support independent journalism by subscribing to our digital news package.
Subscribe now

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.