Dan Flavin

"monument" for V. Tatlin, 1975 (1975)

About this artwork

This is one of a series of works dedicated to the Russian constructivist artist Vladimir Tatlin (1885- 1953). Tatlin treated art in engineering terms and embraced industry and technology. Flavin described Tatlin as, 'the great revolutionary, who dreamed of art as science'. By using fluorescent lights which could be bought in any hardware store, Flavin challenged the viewer's idea of art as dependant on an 'original' object. His choice of a banal, mass-produced, 'modern' object has close parallels with the use of material from popular culture by contemporary pop artists.

  • title: "monument" for V. Tatlin, 1975
  • accession number: GMA 2799
  • artist: Dan FlavinAmerican (1933 - 1996)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Sculpture
  • subject: Light and sound
  • materials: Fluorescent lights
  • date created: 1975
  • measurements: 305.00 x 61.00 x 12.00 cm
  • credit line: Purchased 1983
  • copyright: © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2016.
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Dan Flavin

Dan Flavin

American artist Dan Flavin began his career as a meteorologist and had almost no formal art training. He studied art history at Columbia University, New York in the late-1950s and made his first light work in 1963, fixing a fluorescent light tube to a wall at a 45 degree angle. From that time he worked exclusively with fluorescent lights, placing them on walls, putting them into corners or simply standing them on the floor. As with much minimalist art, his work is intimately concerned with the space in which it is shown, thus anticipating installation art.