Artist biography

Dan Flavin born 1933 [- 1996]

American artist who has worked mainly with fluorescent light. Born in New York. Served in the meteorological branch of the US Air Force and then at the National Weather Analysis Center. Almost no formal instruction in painting apart from four sessions at the Hans Hofmann School, New York, in 1956, but attended Columbia University 1957-9 to study art history. Made drawings and small paintings in gestural Abstract Expressionist styles and small constructions incorporating found objects; first one-man exhibition of these at the Judson Gallery, New York, 1961. Began in 1961 to make 'icons' combining electric lights with plainly painted square-fronted constructions. In 1963 gave these up and began to work with fluorescent tubes of any commercially available colour. Since 1964 has made a number of fluorescent installations for particular spaces, e.g. for Documenta 4 at Kassel 1968, the National Gallery of Canada 1969 and the St Louis Art Museum 1973. Lives in Garrison-on-Hudson and Bridgehampton, Long Island.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.219