Seeing the Light

I’ve been lukewarm about Dan Flavin all these years. That’s odd, really, because as someone who works reductively and with luminous color in my own painting, I should have embraced Flavin’s oeuvre. Better later than never. I’ve seen the light. Then again, this is the first time I've ever seen this particular piece.
I walked into the Paula Cooper Galler to find a long rectangular structure dwarfed by the cavernous space. My first look was to the right, where I saw a yellow green glow pouring out of the structure and bathing the wall opposite. I followed it. What you see below is what I saw, in the way I saw it.


From inside, the stucture creates a luminous hallway that you can enter. Beyond the wall of light is a black void tinged pink around the edges.

Walking around the back of the dark gallery, you see both ends of the structure. The color above is pretty accurate (a challenge for a small point-and-shoot trying to understand fluorescent.)

Approaching the opposite entrance . . .

. . .  and entering. I love this view

This work is Untitled (to Barry, Mike, Chuck and Leonard), 1972-1975; 8’ x 8’ x (no length given). Edition of three, with one fabricated. The show was up through October 30. You can see more images of additional work on the gallery website.


annell4 said...

I watched the returns with interest and dismay last is good to see the light this morning. And I will trust it isn't over, maybe just begun.....

Wendy Rodrigue Magnus said...

I had a similar epiphany regarding Flavin at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston last year.

Your pictures are wonderful. Thank you for sharing-

Richard Bottwin said...

YUM! Thanks for this posting. It's really a treat.

Mery Lynn said...

I prefer Flavin when his work looks more like James Turrell - creating an atmosphere rather than a specific neon sculpture.

Joanne Mattera said...

Mery Lynn,
Now that you put it into words, I'm sure that's why I responded to this work--the atmosphereic quality of the light, rather than the light itself. Thanks.