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  • Provenance

    The Pace Gallery, New York; Private Collection

  • Exhibited

    New York, The Pace Gallery, Dan Flavin: tall cornered fluorescent light, December 3, 1993 – January 15, 1994, (another example exhibited); Rio de Janeiro, Centro Cultural Light, Dan Flavin, May 14 – July 5, 1998

  • Literature

    M. Govan and T. Bell, Dan Flavin: The Complete Lights 1961-1996, New York, 2004, no. 636, p. 397 (illustrated); Pace Wildenstein, ed., Dan Flavin: tall cornered fluorescent light, New York, 1993 , p. 5 (illustrated); Centro Cultural Light, ed., Dan Flavin, Rio de Janeiro, 1998, p. 4 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Flavin's idea was to make art out of off-the-rack industrial light fixtures. A few sizes. A handful of colors. Just follow his instructions. It seemed, as an approach, utterly impersonal and possibly not even art as people then knew it. But like so many other radical artistic reactions against Abstract Expressionism's stress on touch and raw emotion, it was the unlikely route to often ecstatic utterance. It consciously blurred the distinction between art and architecture, seizing architecture as part of art's sculptural vocabulary, incorporating corners, walls, doorways and windows, creating a category that was a melting pot of painting, sculpture and design. Most important, it shifted the emphasis from sculpture as an independent object to sculpture, if you still want to call it that, as a space we occupy for a while. His subject was emphatically the present, each work being different when experienced one place or another. The light fixtures themselves were nearly beside the point, by which I mean they weren't things you could stare at easily; they resisted standard connoisseurship. If you flipped off the electric switch they effectively stopped being art. They were like Duchamp's readymades in that respect (and only in that respect), becoming art by virtue of being declared so because of their placement in a gallery or museum. He exemplified a larger truth, that all serious artists, Minimalists or otherwise, usually thrive on parameters. "It is what it is and it ain't nothing else," Flavin said about his work. "Everything is clearly, openly, plainly delivered. There is no overwhelming spirituality you are supposed to come into contact with." He added: "I believe art is shedding its vaunted mystery for a common sense of keenly realized decoration."That may have been his outlook, but spirituality and mystery are precisely what many people extract from his works, the inevitable reaction to intangible light as a religious motif, passed down in history through countless pictures. Flavin's point wasn't exactly to deny the religious allusions and optic uplift of his sculptures but to stress the here and now of the work. Unlike most spiritual art, his fluorescent tubes were not about transporting viewers elsewhere. They were about sharpening our attunement to the immediate surroundings — an art of phenomenology and empiricism.
    M. Kimmelman, “To Be Enlightened, You Pull the Switch”, New York Times, October 1, 2004

  • 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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10

Untitled (for Prudence and her new baby) a

1992
Ultraviolet and red fluorescent light.
96 x 24 x 6 1/2 in. (244 x 61 x 16.5 cm).
This work is from an edition of five and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

Estimate
$300,000 - 400,000 

Sold for $242,500

Contemporary Art Part I

13 Nov 2008, 7pm
New York