Dan Flavin

American (1933 - 1996)
Dan Flavin Untitled (to Don Judd, colorist) 1-5 1987 1987 © Stephen Flavin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2018.

Biography

Born 1933
Died 1996
Nationality American
Birth place Jamaica
Death place Riverhead

American artist Dan Flavin began his career as a meteorologist and had almost no formal art training. He studied art history at Columbia University, New York in the late-1950s and made his first light work in 1963, fixing a fluorescent light tube to a wall at a 45 degree angle. From that time he worked exclusively with fluorescent lights, placing them on walls, putting them into corners or simply standing them on the floor. As with much minimalist art, his work is intimately concerned with the space in which it is shown, thus anticipating installation art.

Glossary terms

  • An art movement of the 1960s onwards, primarily in sculpture. It was in part a reaction against the flamboyance of Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism. It is characterised by a lack of expressiveness and the use of simple forms, often in repetition.

  • Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.