Dan Flavin

Long-term view, Dia Beacon

Overview

Few artists are more identified with a particular medium than Dan Flavin. After 1963 Flavin’s work was composed almost entirely of light, in the form of commercially available fluorescent tubes in ten colors (blue, green, pink, red, yellow, ultraviolet, and four whites) and five shapes (one circular and four straight fixtures of different lengths). Initially arranging these fixtures in varying autonomous configurations, Flavin increasingly made work in relation to architecture, such as his monumental barriers that physically block a passageway or segment of a space with light. Currently installed on Dia Beacon’s lower level, untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection) (1973) is a primary example of Flavin’s barrier works, presented along with a selection of works from Dia’s permanent collection on the main floor. 

Dia Beacon Interactive Floor Plan

Dan Flavin for Heiner

 

untitled (to you, Heiner, with
admiration and affection), 1973
Fluorescent light and metal fixtures
Dia Art Foundation; Gift of Louise and Leonard Riggio

Dan Flavin Collection Display

 

  1. monument 4 for those who have been killed in ambush (to P. K. who reminded me about death), 1966
    Fluorescent light and metal fixtures; edition 2/3
    Dia Art Foundation 
  1. untitled (to a man, George McGovern) 2, 1972
    Fluorescent light and metal fixtures; edition 2/3
    Dia Art Foundation
  1. untitled (to the real Dan Hill) 1b, 1978
    Fluorescent light and metal fixtures; edition 1/5
    Dia Art Foundation
  1. untitled, 1969
    Fluorescent light and metal fixtures; edition 3/3
    Dia Art Foundation; Gift of Louise and Leonard Riggio
  1. untitled, 1969
    Fluorescent light and metal fixtures; edition 3/3
    Dia Art Foundation; Gift of Louise and Leonard Riggio
  1. gold, pink and red, red, 1964
    Fluorescent light and metal fixtures; edition 2/3
    Dia Art Foundation

Dan Flavin was born in 1933 in New York City. In the mid-1950s he served in the United States Air Force, after which he returned to New York, where he studied art history at the New School for Social Research and Columbia University. In 1961 he had his first solo exhibition at the Judson Gallery, New York. Later that year he began experimenting with electric light in a series of works called “icons,” which led him to his first work made solely of fluorescent light, the diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Constantin Brancusi) (1963). Major exhibitions of Flavin’s work include those at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1967); the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1969); and the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany (1989). In 2004 Dia organized a traveling retrospective in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. In 1983 Dia opened the Dan Flavin Art Institute (now Dia Bridgehampton), a permanent exhibition designed by the artist in a former firehouse and Baptist church in Bridgehampton, New York. Flavin died in 1996 in Riverhead, New York

Artist

Dan Flavin

Dan Flavin was born in New York City in 1933. He died in Riverhead, New York, in 1996.

 

View profile

Books

FLA EN_for web

Photo: Ethan Harrison

Dan Flavin: A Retrospective

Tiffany Bell and Michael Govan

This landmark book features the artist’s most significant light works, plus reproductions of Flavin's drawings.

View details

Dan Flavin: A Retrospective Poster

Full-color offset poster Created for the 2004 exhibition Dan Flavin: A Retrospective, organized by Dia Art Foundation, New York, in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

View details

FLA_for web_Photo Don Stahl

Photo: Don Stahl

Dan Flavin: The Complete Lights, 1961–1996

Tiffany Bell and Michael Govan

A complete study of the stunning light works by Dan Flavin.

View details

Get Dia News

Receive Dia News and be the first to hear about events and exhibitions happening at our locations and sites.