Dan Flavin - Contemporary Art Part I New York Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Donald Young Gallery, Chicago; Private Collection

  • Exhibited

    Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art; Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art; Bordeaux, Musée d’Art Contemporain and Otterlo, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, “monuments” for V.Tatlin from Dan Flavin, 1964 - 1983, April 1984 - January 1986, no. 39 (another example exhibited). NewYork, Leo Castelli Gallery, Group Exhibition, March-April, 1985 (another example exhibited). Antwerp, Galeries Ronny Van de Velde, The Future of the Object! A Selection of American Art: Minimalism and After, May-July 1990 (another example exhibited). New York, Mary Boone Gallery, Dan Flavin: Tatlin Monuments, March 1991 (another example exhibited); Moscow, Gagosian Gallery, For What You Are About To Receive, September 18 – October 25, 2008

  • Literature

    J. Fox, “Curatorial Department, Acquisitions,” The One Hundred Eleventh Annual Report of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1986-87, p. 47; D. Flavin, ed. “monuments” for V. Tatlin from Dan Flavin, Los Angeles, 1989, pl. 39 (another example illustrated); Galeries Ronny Van de Velde, ed., The Future of the Object! A Selection of American Art: Minimalism and After, Antwerp, 1990, p. 73 (another example illustrated); F. DeVuono, “Review: Dan Flavin, Mary Boone Gallery,” ArtNews 90, no. 7, September 1991, p. 127 (another example illustrated); M. Govan and T. Bell, Dan Flavin: The Complete Lights 1961-1996, New Haven and London, 2004, p. 239, no. 65 (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Flavin makes instant monuments; the ‘instant’ make’s Flavin’s work a part of time rather than space.Time becomes a placeminus motion…a million years contained in a second, yet we tend to forget the second as soon as it happens. Flavin’s destruction of classical time and space is based on an entirely new notion of the structure of matter,"
    (J. Flam, ed., Robert Smithson:The Collected Writings, Los Angeles, 1996, p. 11).
    Dan Flavin’s “Monuments” for V. Tatlin series was conceived in 1964 as a response to both the potential and the incompleteness in the Russian Constructivist Vladimir Tatlin’s revolutionary ideas, and in particular toTatlin’s sculpture Model of the Monument to The Third International, 1920. Vladimir Tatlin created the sculpture as a model of a large spiraling tower intended to be built as a towering symbol of modernity in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. This grand project was never conceived, but the model for the work remains a defining expression of Constructivism. Flavin’s series, conceived in fluorescent lights, takes on the Russian artist’s work, not as an eternal celebration of a revolutionary culture likeTatlin’s aspired to, but as a contemporary and temporal work. Flavin always references “monument” in quotes to emphasize that this is a slightly ironic take on the concept and that he feels that manmade creations are inherently ephemeral. However, viewers of the present lot Untitled (“Monument” for V.Tatlin) 22, 1964 can’t help but feel that they are in the presence of something timeless. With it’s form echoing Tatlin’s spiral tower, the cool white fluorescent lights of the present lot envelop the room in a tranquil luminescence that creates impressions that “hover between materiality/immateriality, between a physical presence/spiritual presence, between lightness/figurativeness” (J. Moyne, Light Pieces, Luxembourg, 2000, n.p.).

  • Artist Biography

    Dan Flavin

    American • 1933 - 1996

    Dan Flavin employed commercially-sold fluorescent light tubes in order to produce what he liked to call "situations" or installations. His minimalist approach transcended simplicity through his use of neon colors and thoughtful compositions. With straight-edged light beams, Flavin would often create dynamic arrangements reminiscent of Fred Sandback's work with yarn.

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Untitled (“Monument” for V.Tatlin) 22

Cool white fluorescent lights.
96 x 28 x 5 in. (243.8 x 71.7 x 12.7 cm).
This work was executed in 1964 from an edition of five of which four were fabricated and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist and post-dated 1967.

$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for $458,500

Contemporary Art Part I

14 May 2009, 7pm
New York