July 5, 2005 - Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago - Dan Flavin: A Retrospective
July 5, 2005

Dan Flavin: A Retrospective

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Dan Flavin, untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection), 1973. Photo: Florian Holzherr. Courtesy Dia Art Foundation. © Stephen Flavin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

One of the most innovative artists of the late twentieth century, Flavin (19331996) is best known for his works that consist almost entirely of fluorescent lights. Because many of his works are site-specific, large presentations of his art have rarely been seen. This exhibition, the first comprehensive retrospective devoted to his work, includes approximately forty-five light works beginning with a series called icons, made from 1961 to 1963, which are constructed boxes with attached incandescent or fluorescent lights that show the influence of artists such as Barnett Newman and Marcel Duchamp.

Organized chronologically, the exhibition includes the “monuments” to Vladmir Tatlin, works made for corners that integrate light with architecture, large-scale installations and “barrier” pieces, works made in homage to fellow artists or as reflections of Flavin’s thinking on political subjects, and a selection of works on paper that reveal Flavin’s thought processes and working methods. The MCA’s presentation will also include a re-creation of the 1967-68 MCA exhibition of Flavin’s work alternating pink and gold, one of the earliest and most important installations of his work.

Also on view through October 9 is Circle of Influence: Letters by Dan Flavin and Artists Books by His Peers. Drawing from Dan Flavins letters concerning his installation of alternating pink and gold, this show also includes a selection of artists books and writings by Flavins minimalist peers. Artists include Robert Smithson, Dan Graham, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Fred Sandback, James Turrell, and others.

The Dan Flavin: A Retrospective catalogue is available online at www.mcachicagostore.org.

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue
312.280.2660 www.mcachicago.org
Dan Flavin: A Retrospective is organized by Dia Art Foundation, New York, in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The national tour is sponsored by Altria Group, Inc. Research for the exhibition and publication was supported by The Henry Luce Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional funding has been provided by Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Major support for the Chicago presentation is provided by Donna and Howard Stone. Additional support for the Chicago presentation provided by Andrea and James A. Gordon; Neil G. Bluhm; Altria Group, Inc.; The Neisser Family Fund; and Lannan Foundation. Air transportation is provided by American Airlines, the official airline of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Hotel accommodation provided by the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, a part of Millennium Hotels and Resorts.

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