Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Light Precedents- Dan Flavin

Light is something that defines space and makes the space. It is something that engages the human mind and gives meaning to things. According to Patricia C. Johnson of the Houston Chronicle, "Flavin's work (with light) paints the air and erases architecture." Perhaps some agree, but I have to disagree in that light is what adds elements and uniqueness to the architecture surrounding it. I challenge you to determine what you see Dan Flavin's work and light in general to represent and be in that or any surrounding.

Dan Flavin was an American Minimalist whos focus was on sculpural objects and flourescent light fixtures. He was educated at The New School for Social Research and Columbia University where he studied Art history, painting and drawing. He first incorporated electric light in his portfolio of art in 1961 by making it a new art form to "play" with and evolve.

His first work to incorporate this new art form of electric light was the "Icons" series. This was a series of eight colored square box forms.

His last piece of work was a site specific work at S. Maria Annunciata in Chiesa Rossa, Milan, Italy. It was completed only two days before his death at his studio.

Dan Flavin was a very unique artist. Though some compare to his art in the fact that they use light in art forms, like James Turrell, none will ever be exactly like him. Both artists do, however, compare in that they both use light in structural spaces. They differ in that Turrell uses light to engage and influence the viewers thoughts while Flavin uses light to enphasis the importance of light and what it has to bring.

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