FINE ART INVESTMENTS SINCE 1978
(after) Dan FLAVIN
Title: "Dan Flavin: A Retrospective"
Medium: Original Offset-Lithograph,
Limited edition: Unknown
Sheet size: 36" x 24"
Dan Flavin, (born April 1, 1933, Jamaica, Queens, New York, U.S.—died November 29, 1996, Riverhead, New York), American
artist whose installations featuring fluorescent lighting tubes in geometric arrays emit a rich ambient monochrome or
multicoloured light that subtly reshapes the interior spaces in which they are displayed, creating intense visual sensations for
the viewer. He was one of the leading exponents of Minimalist art and importantly influenced the direction of international
From an early age Flavin was interested in art, particularly drawing. But, following his father’s wishes, he attended a seminary
in Brooklyn from 1947 to 1952. He was never ordained, but he clearly maintained some interest in the spiritual, as his signature
explorations of light (a phenomenon in art historically associated with the divine or the numinous) reveal. In 1952 he
graduated from Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception in Douglaston, New York, and he then served in the military
in Korea for a year. When he returned to New York City, he studied art history at the New School and at Columbia University.
As a studio artist, Flavin was generally self-taught.
His earliest work of the late 1950s included paintings, text, and found objects. In the early ’60s he began to experiment with the
use of fluorescent lights mounted on painted wood armatures. He became one of the first Minimalists, concerned with real
space as a formal device, industrial materials, and simplified forms. Like the Russian Constructivist Vladimir Tatlin—whom he
particularly admired and to whom he dedicated several of his works—Flavin often mounted his structures in corners so that
the ambient light softened the rectangular space of the room. He used factory-made fluorescent lights in standard lengths and
colours, thereby taking light as a found object. Flavin would use this basic format for the rest of his career, varying the number
and scale of his pieces on the basis of space. From 1983 to 1988 he renovated a former firehouse and church in Bridgehampton,
New York, as a permanent site for his work. The building, known as the Dan Flavin Art Institute, is now maintained by the Dia