Representative Overview of Dan Flavin’s Light Works on View for the First Time in Switzerland
US artist Dan Flavin (1933–1996) is considered to be one of the most important representatives of minimalist art in the world, and a pioneer of light art. He started working with commercially available fluorescent tubes in standardised dimensions and colours in the early 1960s, creating a distinctive oeuvre, altering spaces and perception in equal measure, and generating striking light and colour spaces.
The Dan Flavin – Lights exhibition at the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen museum of art provides a representative overview of Flavin’s light works for the first time in Switzerland. Containing around thirty works, the exhibition explains the artist’s development from painting to creating light works based on selected situations (1961–1964). It spans the range from his key individual works created with fluorescent tubes up to the more recent large-scale works.
As a result of his radical decision to use an everyday industrial product, Flavin’s art combines the precisely calculated use of the medium with the daring, sensuous emission of light. With his choice of light tubes as both motif and material for his work, Flavin on one hand indicates the convergence of art with the everyday consumer world. On the other hand, his presentation follows the principles of minimalist austerity, but manages at the same time to outshine these using colours, and to create light spaces of an incomparable sensuous quality.
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