Dan Flavin


Dan Flavin
Dan Flavin
Born April 1, 1933(1933-04-01)
Jamaica, New York
Died November 29, 1996(1996-11-29) (aged 63)
Riverhead, New York
Nationality American
Field Installation art, Sculpture
Training Columbia University
Site-specific installation by Dan Flavin, 1996, Menil Collection

Dan Flavin (April 1, 1933, Jamaica, New York – November 29, 1996, Riverhead, New York) was an American minimalist artist famous for creating sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures.

Contents

Early life and career

Flavin studied for the priesthood in Brooklyn for a brief period of time before enlisting in the United States Air Force. During military service in 1954–55, Flavin studied art through the University of Maryland Extension Program in Korea.[1] Upon his return to New York in 1956, Flavin briefly attended the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts and studied art under Albert Urban. He later studied art history for a short time at the New School for Social Research, then moved on to Columbia University, where he studied painting and drawing.[2]

From 1959, Flavin was shortly employed as a guard and elevator operator at the Museum of Modern Art, where he met Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, and Robert Ryman.[3] Two years later, he married his first wife Sonja Severdija.[4]

Flavin married his second wife, the artist Tracy Harris, in a ceremony at the Guggenheim Museum, in 1992.[5]

Flavin died in Riverhead, New York. His estate is represented by David Zwirner, New York.

Work

Early work

Flavin’s first works were drawings and paintings that reflected the influence of Abstract Expressionism. In 1959, he began to make assemblages and collages.[6]

In the summer of 1961, while working as a guard at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Flavin started to make sketches for sculptures that incorporated electric lights.[7] The first works to incorporate electric light were his "Icons" series: eight colored shallow, boxlike square constructions made from various materials such as wood, Formica, or Masonite. Constructed by the artist and his then-wife Sonja, the Icons had fluorescent tubes with incandescent and fluorescent bulbs attached to their sides, and sometimes beveled edges. One of these icons was dedicated to Flavin's twin brother David, who died of polio in 1962.[8] "

Mature work

One of Flavin's last works was the lighting for a glass-enclosed arcade (1996) at the Wissenschaftspark Rheinelbe (Rhine-Elbe Science Park) in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The arcade was designed by Uwe Kiessler; it stretches 300 metres (980 ft), and connects nine buildings.[9]

The "Diagonal of Personal Ecstasy (the Diagonal of May 25, 1963)," a yellow fluorescent placed on a wall at a 45-degree angle from the floor and completed in 1963, was Flavin's first mature work; it is dedicated to Constantin Brâncuşi and marks the beginning of Flavin's exclusive use of fluorescent light as a medium. In the decades that followed, he continued to use fluorescent structures to explore color, light and sculptural space, in works that filled gallery interiors. These structures cast both light and an eerily-colored shade, while taking a variety of forms, including "corner pieces", "barriers," and "corridors." Most of Flavin's works were untitled, followed by a dedication in parenthesis to friends, artists, critics and others: the most famous of these include his "Monuments to V. Tatlin," an homage to the Russian constructivist sculptor Vladimir Tatlin, which he continued to work on between 1964 and 1990.

By 1968, Flavin had developed his sculptures into room-size environments of light. That year, he outlined an entire gallery in ultraviolet light at Documenta 4 in Kassel, Germany. Additional sites for his architectural “interventions” became the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin (1996), and the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas (2000). In 1992, Flavin’s original conception for a 1971 piece was fully realized in a site-specific installation that filled the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's entire rotunda on the occasion of the museum’s reopening.

His last artwork was a site-specific work at Santa Maria Annunciata in Chiesa Rossa, Milan, Italy. The 1930s church was designed by Giovanni Muzio. The design for the piece was completed two days before Flavin's death on November 29, 1996. Its installation was completed one year later with the assistance of the Dia Center for the Arts and Fondazione Prada.[10]

The Menil Collection in Houston, Texas states that in 1990 Dominique de Menil approached Flavin to create a permanent, site-specific installation at Richmond Hall. Just two days before his death in November 1996 Flavin completed the design for the space. The artist’s studio completed the work.[11]

Recognition

In 1983, the Dia Center for the Arts opened the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton, New York, a permanent exhibition of his works, designed by the artist in a converted firehouse.[12] In 2004, Flavin's work Untitled ("monument" for V. Tatlin)' (1964–1965) was sold for $735,500 at Christie's, New York.

Exhibitions

Flavin's first one-person exhibition using only fluorescent light opened at the Green Gallery in 1964. Two years later, his first European show opened at Rudolf Zwirner's gallery in Cologne, Germany. The first major retrospective of Flavin’s work was organized by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa in 1969. In 1973 the Saint Louis Art Museum presented concurrent exhibitions of his works on paper and fluorescent sculptures. Among Flavin’s many significant one-person exhibitions in Europe were shows at the Kunstmuseum Basel and Kunsthalle Basel (1975), the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden (1989), and the Städtische Galerie im Städel, Frankfurt (1993). In the late 1970s, he began a partnership with the Dia Art Foundation that resulted in the making of several permanent site-specific installations and led most recently to the organization of the traveling exhibition, Dan Flavin: A Retrospective (2004–2007).[13]

Flavin’s retrospective exhibition traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth, Texas; Hayward Gallery, London; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles.[14][15] This exhibition was the first comprehensive retrospective devoted to his minimalist work. The exhibition included nearly 45 light works, including his "icons" series. The MCA's presentation included the re-creation of the alternating pink and "gold" room from the original MCA exhibition in 1967, Flavin's first solo museum exhibition.[16]

Since 2010, Dan Flavin's estate has been represented by David Zwirner. During his life, he was represented primarily by the Green Gallery, Kornblee Gallery, Dwan Gallery, John Weber Gallery, Leo Castelli Gallery, and PaceWildenstein.

Sculptures in collections[17][18]

United States

Arizona

  • untitled (in memory of "Sandy" Calder) V 1/5, 1977, Private Collector, Scottsdale

California

  • untitled (to Marianne), 1970, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla
  • monument for V Tatlin, 1969, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • untitled (to Robert, Joe, and Michael), 1975–82, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • untitled (to Charles Cowles), 1963, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • Mrs. Reppin's survival, 1966, Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena
  • untitled 1/3, 1969, Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena

Colorado

  • untitled (for A. C.), 1992, Denver Art Museum, Denver

District of Columbia

  • untitled, 1980, Administered by United States General Services Administration, Art-in-Architecture Program, Washington
  • "monument" for V. Tatlin 1/5, 1968, National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • "monument" for V. Tatlin 4/5, 1969–70, National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • untitled (to Barnett Newman to commemorate his simple problem, red, yellow, and blue) 4/5, 1969–70, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Illinois

  • untitled (monument for V. Tatlin), 1970, Private Collector, Chicago
  • the alternate diagonals of March 2, 1964 (to Don Judd), 1964, Private Collector, Chicago

Iowa

  • untitled (for Ellen), Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines

Massachusetts

  • Barbara Roses, 1962–1965, Smith College, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton

Michigan

  • "monument" for V. Tatlin, 1969, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit

Minnesota

  • untitled, 1963, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
  • untitled, 1966, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
  • "monument" for V. Tatlin 3/5, 1969, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Nebraska

  • untitled, 1964, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Lincoln

New Hampshire

  • untitled (To Elita and her baby, Cintra), 1970, Dartmouth College, Hood Museum of Art, Hanover

New York

  • gold, pink and red, red 2/3, 1964, Dia Art Foundation, Beacon
  • monument 4 for those who have been killed in ambush (to P.K. who reminded me about death) 2/3, 1966, Dia Art Foundation, Beacon
  • the diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Constantin Brâncuşi) 3/3, 1963, Dia Art Foundation, Beacon first entirely fluorescent work
  • the nominal three (to William of Ockham) 2/3, 1963, Dia Art Foundation, Beacon
  • untitled (to a man, George McGovern) 2 2/3, 1972, Dia Art Foundation, Beacon
  • untitled (to the real Dan Hill) 1b 1/5, 1978, Dia Art Foundation, Beacon
  • untitled, 1996, Dia Art Foundation, Beacon
  • red out of a corner (to Annina) 3/3, 1963, Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton
  • untitled 2/3, 1976, Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton
  • untitled (to Robert, Joe and Michael) 2/3, 1975–81, Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton
  • untitled (to Jan and Ron Greenberg) 2/3, 1972–73, Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton
  • untitled (in honor of Harold Joachim) 3 1/3, 1977, Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton
  • untitled (to Katharina and Christoph), [from the series to European couples] 1/5, 1971, Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton
  • untitled (to Jim Schaeufele) 1 1/3, 1972, Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton
  • untitled (to Jim Schaeufele) 2 1/3, 1972, Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton
  • untitled (to Jim Schaeufele) 3 1/3, 1972, Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton
  • "monument" for V. Tatlin, 1964, Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • pink out of a corner - to Jasper Johns, 1963, Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • untitled (to the "Innovator" of Wheeling Peachblow) 2/3, 1968, Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • untitled, 1968, Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • three fluorescent tubes, 1963, Private Collector, New York
  • icon V (Coran's Broadway flesh), 1962, Private Collector, New York
  • icon VIII (to Blind Melon Jefferson), 1962, Private Collector, New York
  • "monument" for V. Tatlin 1/5, 1964, Private Collector, New York
  • "monument" for V. Tatlin 4/5, 1964, Private Collector, New York
  • untitled (to Henri Matisse) 3/3, 1964, Private Collector, New York
  • untitled (for Ad Reinhardt) 1b 1/5, 1990, Private Collector, New York
  • greens crossing greens (to Piet Mondrian who lacked green), 1966, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • the nominal three (to William of Ockham), 1963, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • untitled (to Tracy, to celebrate the love of a lifetime), 1992, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • untitled (to Ward Jackson, and old friend and colleague who, during the Fall of 1957 when I finally returned to New York from Washington and joined him to work together in this museum, kindly communicated), 1971, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • untitled (for Robert, with fond regards), 1977, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
  • untitled, 1966, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
  • untitled, 1966, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

North Carolina

  • untitled, 1971, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte

Ohio

  • untitled (to Janie Lee) one, 1971, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus
  • untitled (Fondly to Helen), 1976, Private Collector, Cincinnati
  • untitled (to Ellen Johnson, fondly), 1975, Oberlin College, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin

Oregon

  • untitled (To Donna) II , 1971, Portland Art Museum
  • untitled (for Robert Ryman) 2/5, 1996, Miller-Meigs Collection, Portland

Texas

  • alternate diagonals of March 2, 1964 (to Don Judd) 2/3, 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas
  • diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Constantin Brâncuşi) 2/3, 1963, Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth
  • monument 1 for V. Tatlin, 1964, Menil Collection, Houston
  • untitled (to Barbara Wood), 1970, Menil Collection, Houston
  • untitled frieze, 1996, Menil Collection, Richmond Hall, Houston
  • untitled foyer, 1996, Menil Collection, Richmond Hall, Houston
  • untitled interior, 1996, Menil Collection, Richmond Hall, Houston
  • icon III, 1962, Chinati Foundation, Marfa
  • icon VI (Ireland dying)(to Louis Sullivan), 1962, Chinati Foundation, Marfa

Washington

  • untitled (To Donna), 1973, Private Collector, Seattle

International

Canada

  • the alternate diagonals of March 2, 1964 (To Don Judd), 1964, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
  • untitled corner piece, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
  • "monument" for V. Tatlin, 1969–1970, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
  • "monument" for V. Tatlin, 1968, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
  • untitled (to Barnett Newman to commemorate his simple problem, red, yellow and blue), 1970, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
  • untitled, 1971, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

France

  • "monument" for V. Tatlin, 1975, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris
  • untitled (To Donna) 5a, 1971, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris

United Kingdom

  • "monument" to V. Tatlin, 1975, Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • monument for V. Tatlin, 1966–1969, Tate Gallery, London
  • untitled, 1969, Tate Gallery, London
  • a primary picture 2/3, 1964, Hermes Trust U.K., London
  • untitled (to Lucie Rie, master potter) 1c 2/5, 1990, Waddington Galleries Ltd., London
  • untitled (to Lucie Rie, master potter) 1jjj 2/5, 1990, Waddington Galleries Ltd., London
  • untitled (to Lucie Rie, master potter) 1o 1/5, 1990, Waddington Galleries Ltd., London

Estate Collection

  • icon I (the heart) (to the light of Sean McGovern which blesses everyone), 1961
  • icon II (the mystery) (to John Reeves), 1961
  • pink out of a corner - to Jasper Johns, 1963
  • "monument" 1 for V. Tatlin, 1964, Sonja Flavin collection
  • Corner Monument 4, 1966
  • "monument" for V. Tatlin, 1967
  • "monument" for V. Tatlin, 1967
  • untitled (to Janie Lee) one, 1971
  • untitled (to Emily), 1973
  • untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection), 1973
  • untitled (in honor of Harold Joachim) 3, 1977
  • "monument" for V. Tatlin, 1981
  • untitled (to Piet Mondrian), 1985
  • untitled (for Donald Judd, colorist) 1, 1987
  • untitled (for Donald Judd, colorist) 2, 1987
  • untitled (for Donald Judd, colorist) 3, 1987
  • untitled (for Donald Judd, colorist) 4, 1987
  • untitled (for Donald Judd, colorist) 5, 1987
  • untitled, 1989
  • untitled (for Ad Reinhardt) 2b, 1990

See also

  • Santa Maria Annunciata in Chiesa Rossa in Milan, Italy, last Dan Flavin's artwork.

References

  1. ^ http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/collections/collection-online/show-full/bio/?artist_name=Dan%20Flavin&page=1&f=Name&cr=3
  2. ^ Daniel Marzona and Uta Grosenick. Minimal Art," Taschen, 2004, p14
  3. ^ http://www.davidzwirner.com/danflavin/
  4. ^ diacenter.org accessed August 25, 2007
  5. ^ New York Times, June 26, 1992. Abstract available at nytimes.com
  6. ^ http://www.paulacoopergallery.com/exhibitions/391
  7. ^ http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/collections/collection-online/show-full/bio/?artist_name=Dan%20Flavin&page=1&f=Name&cr=3
  8. ^ Tiffany Bell, diacenter.org accessed August 25, 2007
  9. ^ Bell, Tiffany; Govan, Michael; Powell, Earl A.; Smith, Brydon; Weiss, Jeffrey (2004). Dan Flavin: the complete lights, 1961-1996. Yale University Press. p. 410. ISBN 9780300106336. http://books.google.com/books?id=14H6gpbn4SMC&pg=PA410. "For a large complex of office buildings called Wissenschaftspark Rheinelbe in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, designed by Uwe Kiessler of the architectural firm Kiessler + Partner, Flavin was commissioned to light an enclosed arcade. This passageway, which has a large glass facade with sections that can be opened in warm weather, connects nine buildings. On three unobstructed walls that enclose elevator shafts, Flavin placed vertical structures made of two parallel, adjacent rows of six 4-foot (122 cm) fixtures each, all with blue lamps. Intersecting at the 4-foot intervals, six 4-foot fixtures with green lamps were placed horizontally to form a cross-like pattern. At the top of one large wall, near the main entrance but after the first elevator shaft, is a horizontal row of thirteen 4-foot fixtures with green lamps. They are mounted on the wall at the ceiling joint. This work was installed shortly before Flavin's death, although the building did not open officially until 1997." 
  10. ^ "Dan Flavin", brochure, S. Maria in Chiesa Rossa, Fondazione Prada, Dia Center for the Arts, 1997. Essay by Michael Govan.
  11. ^ Menil Collection at
  12. ^ http://www.diacenter.org/sites/main/danflavinartinstitute
  13. ^ THE ESTATE OF DAN FLAVIN IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY REPRESENTED BY DAVID ZWIRNER David Zwirner Gallery, September 2010.
  14. ^ "Dan Flavin: Series and Progressions". NY Art Beat. http://www.nyartbeat.com/event/2009/5185. Retrieved 2011-06-13. 
  15. ^ "Dan Flavin: Series and Progressions". Press Release. David Zwirner Gallery. 2009-10-09. http://www.davidzwirner.com/resources/47900/new%20pic%20Flavin2009_PR%20FINAL%20with%20Flavin%20statement.pdf. Retrieved 2011-06-13. 
  16. ^ Victor M. Cassidy (2005). "No Trespassing: The Art of Dan Flavin". Artnet. http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/reviews/cassidy/cassidy8-4-05.asp. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  17. ^ Govan and Bell, Dan Flavin: A Retrospective, Yale University Press, 2004
  18. ^ diacenter.org accessed June 6, 2008

Bibliography

Govan, Michael and Bell, Tiffany. "Dan Flavin: The Complete Lights, 1961-1996." Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. 2004.

External links


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