Dan Flavin

Dan Flavin : A Retrospective

By (author) Michael Govan , By (author) Tiffany Bell , Contributions by Brydon E. Smith , Contributions by Earl A. III Powell , Contributions by Jeffrey Weiss


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Dan Flavin (1933--1996) is considered one of the most important and innovative artists of the late twentieth century. The simplicity and systematic character of his extraordinary work, along with his relentless exploration and ingenious discovery of an art of light, established him as a progenitor and chief exponent of Minimalism. Uniquely situated outside the mediums of painting and sculpture, the majority of Flavin's work after 1963 consists of art made from light. This landmark book--the first retrospective publication of Flavin's art since 1969--includes around 45 of the artist's most important light works, beginning with a pivotal series of constructed boxes with attached incandescent or fluorescent lights, called "icons," made from 1961 to 1963. Works spanning Flavin's career are discussed in depth, including examples that integrate light with the surrounding space and show the particular characteristics of blended fluorescent light, large-scale installations, and constructed corridors. The book also includes reproductions of Flavin's drawings, which show his thought processes and working methods. New scholarship and interpretation of Flavin's work appears in the form of three critical essays by experts, an extensive chronology, comprehensive bibliography, and exhibition history. In addition, Flavin's seminal text "'...in daylight or cool white.' an autobiographical sketch," originally published in Artforum in 1965, is included. Exquisitely designed and produced, with many new stunning color reproductions, Dan Flavin: A Retrospective captures the brilliance of this artist's contribution to and challenges of the art world and will be the authoritative volume on Flavin for years to come.

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  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 256 x 304 x 10mm | 1,419.76g
  • 01 Oct 2004
  • Yale University Press
  • New Haven
  • English
  • New.
  • 100 colour images, 30 b&w illustrations
  • 0300106327
  • 9780300106329
  • 616,349

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Author Information

Tiffany Bell has served as project director of the Dan Flavin catalogue raisonne since 1998; Michael Govan is director of Dia Art Foundation; Earl A. Powell III is director of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Brydon Smith is former curator of twentieth-century art at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Jeffrey Weiss is head of the department of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

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Review quote

"Replete with informative essays and working drawings, this volume proposes a new understanding of Flavin's ground-breaking oeuvre."-Art in America

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