Dan Flavin

The use of fluorescents, both in the form of light and the fixture itself in many cases to block space is characteristic of Flavin. In this regard his exploration of space is interesting in that it creates a feeling of irony by locating the fixtures so that they block the passage through architectural spaces, as he did in the Marfa, obligating the spectator to circulate around it to experience it.

The intentionality of his pieces have me puzzled in that he wants to keep them as simple as possible so as to distill the ideas, but leaves a lot of the results up to the qualities of the light itself. For instance, when he recognized “a degree of helplessness. The fixture that supports the tube has a fixed and rather severe aspect and appearance. This is one of those nice paradoxes, as nice a paradox as you can find anywhere. You have this unfocused source coming out of a well-defined instrument.”

I consider the empirical aspect of his work he most interesting, as he operates from experience he might be more akin to the viewer’s point of view.

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