Cardi Gallery Milan is delighted to present a solo exhibition of the legendary American Minimalist Dan Flavin. The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Estate of Dan Flavin and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue that includes an essay by the esteemed Italian art critic Germano Celant.
The American artist Dan Flavin (1933–1996) is internationally renowned for his installations and sculptural works made exclusively of commercially available fluorescent light. The exhibition at Cardi Gallery Milan will feature fourteen light works from the late 1960s through the 1990s that show the evolution over four decades of the artist’s investigations into notions of colour, light and sculptural space.
In the summer of 1961, while working as a guard at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Flavin started to make sketches for sculptures that incorporated electric lights. Later that year, he translated his sketches into assemblages he called “icons”, which juxtaposed lights onto monochromatic, painted Masonite constructions. By 1963, he removed the rectangular support altogether and began to work with his signature fluorescent lamps. In 1968, Flavin expanded his sculptures into room-size environments and filled an entire gallery with ultraviolet light at Documenta 4 in Kassel (1968).
Flavin always emphatically denied that his sculptural light installations had any kind of transcendent, symbolic, or sublime dimension, stating: “It is what it is and it ain’t nothing else”. He claimed his works were simply fluorescent light responding to a specific architectural setting. By using light as his medium, Flavin was able to redefine how we perceive pictorial and sculptural space.