Dan Flavin: colored fluorescent light

Dan Flavin,David Zwirner

David Zwirner presents an exhibition of works by American artist Dan Flavin. Presented across two floors, the works on view recreate the artist’s momentous coloured fluorescent light exhibitions, which took place at Leo Castelli Gallery and Galerie Heiner Friedrich in New York and Cologne in 1976, and figure as important early instances of his innovative use of immersive colour and serial progressions in response to architectural space. In bringing these works back together, the exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to directly experience the artist’s singular vision and ability to transform space through everyday materials. David Zwirner has represented the Estate of Dan Flavin since 2009, and this will be the gallery’s first presentation of the artist’s work in London.

From 1963, when he conceived the diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Constantin Brancusi)—a single gold fluorescent lamp installed diagonally on a wall—until his death in 1996, Flavin produced a remarkably consistent and prodigious body of work that utilised commercially available fluorescent lamps to create installations (or “situations,” as he preferred to call them) of light and colour. Through these light constructions, Flavin was able to at once establish and redefine space. The artist’s work—which ranges in scale from individual wall-mounted and corner constructions to large-scale works, in which he employed whole rooms or corridors—testifies to his recurrent preoccupation with architecture.

Each of the nine colours that comprised the artist’s visual vocabulary during these years—red, pink, blue, green, yellow, cool white, daylight, warm white, and soft white—will be represented within the show (he later added ultraviolet light to his repertoire). As Marianne Stockebrand has noted, although he is not primarily known as a colourist, Flavin nevertheless “introduced a new aspect to visual art: the pouring, or flooding of color into space. By diffusing in all directions, the light creates a volume of color. Within this volume, however, color becomes visible only when it touches a reflecting plane, such as a wall, a floor, the ceiling, furniture or people. One cannot see the color flowing within a space, as it is not materialized. It is light—colorful light…. Color without boundaries, which Dan Flavin has made his tool in the creation of art.”1

Duration 12 January 2023 - 18 February 2023
Times Tues—Sat 10am–6pm
Cost Free
Venue David Zwirner
Address 24 Grafton Street, London, W1S 4EZ
Contact / natasha@davidzwirner.com / www.davidzwirner.com