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Dan Flavin untitled, monument for V. Tatlin 1969-1970 Cool white fluorescent light. Height: 244 cm. (96 in). This work is an edition of 5 and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Provenance Private collection, Paris Exhibited Zurich, Kunsthaus, Das Einfache ist das Schwierige, 28 November, 1993 – 16 January, 1994 (another example exhibited); New York, Mary Boone Gallery, Dan Flavin: Tatlin Monuments, 2 – 30 March, 1991 (another example exhibited); Tokyo, Museum of Contemporary Art, Revolution: Art of the Sixties from Warhol to Beuys, 30 September – 10 December, 1995 (another example exhibited); London, Tate Gallery, 20 May – 8 September, 1996; Stuttgart Kunstverein, 28 September – 24 November, 1996; Hamburg Kunsthalle, 23 January – 13 April, 1997; Vienna, Kunstforum, 20 May – 17 August, 1997 (another example exhibited); The Froehlich Foundation: German and American Art from Beuys and Warhol; New York, Danese, Dan Flavin: Monuments for V. Tatlin, 10 January – 8 February, 1997 (another example exhibited); Washington DC, National Gallery of Art, 3 October, 2003 – 9 January, 2004; Fort Worth, Modern Art Museum, 25 February – 5 June, 2005; Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, 1 July – 30 October, 2005 (another example exhibited); Dan Flavin: The Complete Lights, 1961-1996. Literature Exhibition Catalogue, Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art, Revolution: Art of the Sixties from Warhol to Beuys, Tokyo, 1995, p.137 (another example illustrated); M. Beudert, ed., The Froehlich Foundation: German and American Art from Beuys and Warhol, Stuttgart, 1996, p.150 (another example illustrated); D.Flavin, ‘monuments' for V.Tatlin, New York, 1997, p.19 (another example illustrated); G.Adriani, ed., Minimal Art aus den Sammlungen FER, Froehlich und Siegfried Weishaupt, Karlsruhe, 2001, p.79 (another example illustrated); D.Flavin, Dan Flavin: The Complete Lights, 1961-1996, New York, 2004 Catalogue Essay My concern for the thought of Russian artist-designer, Vladimir Tatlin (1885-1953), was prompted by the man’s frustrated, insistent attitude to attempt to combine artistry and engineering. The pseudo-monuments, structural, designs for clear but temporary cool white fluorescent lights, were to honor the artist ironically. (Dan Flavin, ‘Some artist’s remark…’ in Monuments for V. Tatlin from Dan Flavin, 1964-1982, exh.cat.) Incorporating light within private architectural and public spaces, Dan Flavin is one of the most prominent artists to have risen out of the 1960s creative advancement. His exclusive use of fluorescent light as a medium came about in 1963 and would become his cornerstone artistic practice until his death in 1996. Flavin used the neon fluorescent lights within gallery spaces illuminating surroundings intending to explore color, light and sculptural space. These structures cast both light and an eerily-colored shade, while taking on a variety of forms including corner pieces, barriers, and corridors. His simple, subtle and open colorful pieces brought him into alliance with the minimal art movement, at times being credited with being its founder. The commentary Flavin creates with his oeuvre transcends with advancements in technology, architecture and artistic practice. By working with industrial lighting, Flavin’s symbolic take on removing these lights from their original surroundings and placing them in a gallery exploded the creative consciousness of utilizing the ready-made, a profound shake on the art world which hadn’t occurred since Duchamp. Whether site-specific or editioned, the effect of the works is conditioned by the fact that the medium of fluorescent light is elusive. Much has been written about the transitory, ephemeral quality of the light itself. As a volume of colored light radiates through space, it is perceptible only as reflection on its material containers – walls, floors, or whatever else falls in its path. Similarly, its intensity changes with location, viewpoint, and time of day. More practically speaking, the ephemeral nature of Flavin’s lights is inherent in the impermanence of the medium: the lights can be turned on and off, and like all bulbs, have a limited life span. The ephemer
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