Landing at David Zwirner this month is the gallery’s first presentation of Dan Flavin’s work in London. Born in New York in 1933, the American artist made his name creating illuminated light installations (or ‘situations’ as he preferred to call them) that offer a rigorous formal and conceptual investigation of space and light.
A pioneer of Minimalism, Flavin embraced the temporary nature of his work, often replacing parts which had shattered or blown as necessary. He enjoyed his first solo gallery show in 1961 and his first major museum exhibition in 1969. In 2004 a major retrospective of his work opened at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
Presented across two floors, this show recreates the artist’s momentous coloured fluorescent light exhibitions, which took place at Leo Castelli Gallery and Galerie Heiner Friedrich in New York and Cologne in 1976. Expect works that range in scale and colour from individual wall-mounted and T-shaped compositions to large-scale works which prompt the viewer to alter their course in the gallery. You’ll also see each of the nine colours that comprised his visual vocabulary during these years.
Shown together, they reveal the artist’s innovative use of immersive colour and serial progressions in response to architectural space. Get thee to Grafton street fast.