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(1933 – 1996), USA

Dan Flavin Biography

Dan Flavin was born in New York. In 1953, he enlisted in the Air Force where he trained as a meteorological technician, and in the late 1950's, Flavin attended Columbia University studying Art History. 

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Flavin's art is often ascribed to the Minimalist movement, although he never approved of the term. Much of Minimalist aesthetics was shaped by a reaction against Abstract Expressionism. Minimalists wanted to remove suggestions of self-expressionism from the art work, as well as evocations of illusion or transcendence - or, indeed, metaphors of any kind, though as some critics have pointed out, that proved difficult. Unhappy with the modernist emphasis on medium-specificity, the Minimalists also sought to erase distinctions between paintings and sculpture.

Flavin is best known for his Minimalist constructions of color and light. Often using nothing more than a few dozen fluorescent bulbs for his work. His light installations altered the physical exhibition space, and were designed as experiential art rather than visual art. Large-scale works were a focus of Flavin's later career, with site-specific lights commissioned for such spaces as the rotunda at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and a converted church in Bridgehampton, New York, which was established in 1983 as the Dan Flavin Art Institute. Dan Flavin died in 1996 in Riverhead, New York.

Jenny Holzer, from Survival (1983–85) (2020). © 2020 Jenny Holzer, member Artist Rights Society (ARS). Photo: Graham Kelman.

Dan Flavin Featured Artworks

Untitled by Dan Flavin contemporary artwork
Dan FlavinUntitled, 1984Blue and red fluorescent light
Pace Gallery
untitled by Dan Flavin contemporary artwork
Dan Flavinuntitled, 1970 David Zwirner
For one walled circular fluorescent light (to Heiner Friedrich) by Dan Flavin contemporary artwork
Dan FlavinFor one walled circular fluorescent light (to Heiner Friedrich), 1974Set of five signed, titled and dated lithographs each annotated 'another of 35' with linen-covered portfolio and printed text
22 1/8 x 30 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery Contact Gallery

Dan Flavin Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Artists for New York at Hauser & Wirth, New York
Open Now
1–22 October 2020 Group Exhibition Artists for New York Hauser & Wirth, 22nd St, New York22nd Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Parallax at David Zwirner, Hong Kong
30 June–31 July 2020 Group Exhibition Parallax David Zwirner, Hong KongHong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Dan Flavin, Dan Flavin at David Zwirner, Paris
30 November 2019–1 February 2020 Dan Flavin David Zwirner, ParisParis

Dan Flavin Represented By

David Zwirner contemporary art gallery in 19th Street, New York, USA David Zwirner New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong
PKM Gallery contemporary art gallery in Seoul, South Korea PKM Gallery Seoul

Dan Flavin In Ocula Magazine

Basel Tov! Art Basel 2015 Ocula Report Basel Tov! Art Basel 2015 By Diana d'Arenberg, Basel

With over 200 fairs held every year, I feel like a hamster stuck on an ever-spinning wheel. I just can’t seem to hop off, and after several years of this it has all become a bit of a blur.

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Dan Flavin In Related Press

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Contemplating perfection and imperfection at Dia:Beacon Related Press Contemplating perfection and imperfection at Dia:Beacon 18 July 2016, Hyperallergic

A visit last weekend to Dia:Beacon, the vast repository of Minimalist art on the east bank of the Hudson River, brought home once more the complexities and contradictions of a movement whose goal was to be as plain as the nose on your face. It also underscored the ways in which reductivism — whose puritanical bent has been frequently...

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Sharjah’s 'Light Show' sees light in a different dimension Related Press Sharjah’s 'Light Show' sees light in a different dimension 24 September 2015, The National

A world-class art exhibition, spanning five decades of works, is an illuminating experience for visitors in Sharjah. Light Show, at Sharjah Art Foundation which runs until December 5, presents light used in sculptures, as installation, as pure colour and even as optical illusion. Light Show is a travelling exhibition that began in...

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8 Artist Haunts of Long Island and the Hamptons Related Press 8 Artist Haunts of Long Island and the Hamptons 28 July 2015, Paddle 8

Malcolm Gladwell claims that "you can learn as much–or more–from one glance at a private space as you can from hours of exposure to a public face.” If the walls of these coastal homes could talk, we would be endlessly entertained with stories from the private lives of art power couples, from Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner to...

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Preview of Sp-Arte 2015 Related Press Preview of Sp-Arte 2015 8 April 2015, Art News

The 11th edition of the SP-Arte fair opens April 9 in São Paulo, with a VIP preview on April 8. The fair will include 159 galleries from around the world, including blue-chip outfits like David Zwirner, Gagosian, and White Cube, and a solid helping of Brazilian galleries. Below, a look at the works they will offer at the fair, which are by artists...

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