Texts by Briony Fer, Hal Foster, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Alex Potts, Anne Wagner, and Jeffrey Weiss
In making light his primary medium, Dan Flavin (1933–1996) established himself as one of the most innovative and significant artists of the minimalist movement. A new generation encountered Flavin’s work through the critically acclaimed exhibition Dan Flavin: A Retrospective, which opened in October 2004 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Dan Flavin: New Light includes essays that respond to this exhibition and to the renewed interest in Flavin’s work and its place in 20th-century art. In this volume, six leading scholars of contemporary art consider the ambiguities and multiple resonances of Flavin’s light works. Each addresses the ontological complexity of the work––object-based, yet “situational,” and painterly in its deployment of colored light––within the insistently sculptural world of minimalism. The book’s contributors interpret this tension by exploring Flavin’s early assemblages, the relationship of drawing to his installation practice, the specificity of his materials and their operation in actual space, and the openly ambivalent place of Flavin’s work within the history of late modernism.