, untitled (for Robert, with fond regards)
, 1977. Pink, yellow, and red fluorescent lights, 96 × 96 × 9 in. (243.8 × 243.8 × 22.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Louis and Bessie Adler Foundation Inc., Seymour M. Klein, President, the Howard and Jean Lipman Foundation Inc., by exchange, and gift of Peter M. Brant, by exchange 78.57
© 2010 Stephen Flavin / Artists Rights Society (ARS
), New York
In the early 1960s, Dan Flavin started to make sculpture
out of ordinary fluorescent light
tubes. “It is what it is, and it ain’t nothin’ else,” he once said, refusing to give his work any meaning other than what you see in front of you. In the years that followed, Flavin became known as a Minimalist sculptor
. Minimalist artists were interested in making art with simple geometric shapes
. They did not believe it was necessary to make their work themselves, and they often had their work produced by fabricators
who are experts in industrial production.
This sculpture is made of 8-foot long pink, yellow, and red fluorescent light tubes that have been arranged in a grid
. Unlike other sculpture that you may have seen, this one is placed in the corner of a room. The vertical light tubes face toward the corner and the horizontal tubes face outward. When it is switched on, the lights bathe the space and walls around the sculpture with color. The effect is similar to the colorful glow created when the sun shines through a traditional
stained glass window.