Dan Flavin: in daylight or cool white
February 24th – April 14th
@ David Zwirner, 537 West 20th Street, New York
The brilliance of this work is in Flavin’s permutational use of light itself. His process took a long time to mature over a period of many years before he finally discovered his formal language. In an autobiographical text published in Artforum in May 1965, titled “DAN FLAVIN “…in daylight or cool white.” an autobiographical sketch” the artist describes his evolution, it is a personal account which includes this paragraph:
The radiant tube and the shadow cast by its supporting pan seemed ironic enough to hold alone. There was literally no need to compose this system definitively; it seemed to sustain itself directly, dynamically, dramatically in my workroom wall – a buoyant and insistent gaseous image which, through brilliance, somewhat betrayed its physical presence into approximate invisibility.
Associated with “minimalism,” his influences include Barnett Newman, Jasper Johns and Dick Bellamy’s Green Gallery. The terminology is of its time and resonates through the clarity and stark directness of his work and friendships with the artists of the 60s and 70s. Using standard sizes of industrial florescent tubes in the range of available colors, and with an inventive visual intelligence Flavin’s sculptures transform the spaces where they are installed and a viewer’s awareness of sculpture, the nature of light and art itself. The D.I.A. Art Foundation maintains a delightful installation at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton, Long Island.
L. Brandon Krall is an Artist-Filmmaker-Curator-Writer