Dan Flavin in daylight or cool white, at David Zwirner, NY 2018

Dan Flavin: in daylight or cool white

In Visual Artsby L. Brandon KrallLeave a Comment

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.


Dan Flavin in daylight or cool white, at David Zwirner, NY 2018

Dan Flavin, alternate diagonals of March 2, 1964 (to Don Judd), 1964
Daylight and cool white fluorescent light, 12 ft. (366 cm) (long on the diagonal)
© 2018 Stephen Flavin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London/Hong Kong

Dan Flavin in daylight or cool white, at David Zwirner, NY 2018

Dan Flavin in daylight or cool white, at David Zwirner, NY 2018

Dan Flavin in daylight or cool white, at David Zwirner, NY 2018

Dan Flavin in daylight or cool white, at David Zwirner, NY 2018

Dan Flavin in daylight or cool white, at David Zwirner, NY 2018

Dan Flavin in daylight or cool white, at David Zwirner, NY 2018

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