Dan Flavin: A Retrospective

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9780300106329: Dan Flavin: A Retrospective

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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About the Author:

Tiffany Bell has served as project director of the Dan Flavin catalogue raisonné 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.

From Booklist:

Light, considered the purest embodiment of the divine, is the basis of all art to one degree or another, so why not make art out of light? Dan Flavin (1933-96), an innovative and prolific American sculptor who can be considered an abstract, minimalist, and installation artist, chose as his medium commercial fluorescent tubes, and with these everyday lights created works of radiant and evocative beauty. Flavin had many major shows and created a number of permanent public installations; now his work is being celebrated in a magnificent retrospective exhibition that will travel across the country. This handsomely produced volume by Govan, director of the Dia Art Foundation, and Bell, who worked with Flavin, presents exquisite photographs of Flavin's seminal light compositions and expert biographical and critical assessments. Citing Byzantine icons, William Ockham, and Barnett Newman as influences, Flavin created ravishingly beautiful colors and profoundly nuanced constructions with seemingly banal industrial materials, transforming ordinary spaces into places of wonder. For a definitive catalog see Dan Flavin: The Complete Lights, 1961-1996, also published by Yale. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Michael Govan, Tiffany Bell, Brydon E. Smith (Contributor), Earl Powell I II (Contributor), Mr. Jeffrey Weiss (Contributor)
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