Dan Flavin (1933 - 1996)
Dan Flavin (1933 - 1996)

Untitled (To Véronique)

Dan Flavin (1933 - 1996)
Untitled (To Véronique)
red, yellow, blue and green fluorescent light
96 5/8 x 5 ¾ x 1 7/8in. (245.5 x 14.5 x 4.9cm.)
Executed in 1987, this work is number four from an edition of five, only four of which were fabricated
Private Collection, Madrid.
Private Collection.
Anon. sale, Sotheby’s New York, 9 November 2004, lot 46.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
M. Govan & T. Bell, Dan Flavin, The Complete Lights 1961-1996, New York 2004, no. 497 (diagram illustrated in colour, p. 365).
Paris, Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt, Dan Flavin: Hornmage à Leo Castelli 1957-1987, 1987 (another from the edition exhibited).
Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Minimalismos, Un signo de los tiempos, 2001, p. 146 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, p. 42).
Madrid, Galeria Elvira Gonzalez, Dan Flavin/ Donald Judd, 2013 (another from the edition exhibited).
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist


‘Regard the light and you are fascinated – practically inhibited from grasping its limits at each end. While the tube itself has an actual length. its shadow cast from the supporting pan has but illusively dissolving ends. This waning cannot really be measured without resisting consummate visual effects.’
– Dan Flavin

Beginning in 1963, Dan Flavin worked almost exclusively with fluorescent light, tirelessly pursuing what he called ‘acts of electric light defining space’ (D. Flavin, ‘In day light or cool white, an autobiographical sketch’, Artforum, no. 4, December 1965, p. 24). The fluorescent tube, a common commercial product, limited Flavin’s artistic parameters to a set of standardized lengths and colours. Yet within those constraints, he explored endless juxtapositions and arrangements, harnessing the light to create works of extraordinary graphic power and atmospheric beauty. In Untitled (To Véronique), four vertical, austere light fixtures bleed an aura of colour onto the wall behind, subtly blending red, yellow, blue and green into a warm artificial glow. Flavin refused to name his sculptures, but he did dedicate them, and their subtitles signal out both infuences and people he worked with; Véronique was an assistant at the Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt in Paris, where Flavin’s works were included in the gallery’s inaugural exhibition. Through relentless experimentation, Flavin learned how to masterfully manipulate the limited number of combinations proposed by these fixtures. With his use of light tubes, the physical, material nature of the artwork dissolves, luminously merging the object and the world.

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