DAN FLAVIN (1933-1996)
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DAN FLAVIN (1933-1996)

untitled (for S. D.)

DAN FLAVIN (1933-1996)
untitled (for S. D.)
ultraviolet and yellow fluorescent light
96 x 24 x 8in. (243.8 x 60.9 x 20.3cm.)
Executed in 1992, this work is number two from an edition of five
Pace Gallery, New York.
Private Collection, USA.
Anon. sale, Christie's New York, 13 November 2014, lot 493.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
C. Pittel, 'Light Fantastic', in House Beautiful, June 1992 (illustrated, p. 89).
A. Zevi, 'Icone fluorescenti/Dan Flavin's Fluorescent Icons', in L'Architettura 39, nos. 7-8, July-August 1993 (illustrated in colour, p. 569).
M. Govan and T. Bell, Dan Flavin: The Complete Lights 1961-1996, New York, 2004, p. 397, no. 635 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
New York, Pace Gallery, Dan Flavin: tall cornered fluorescent light, 1993-1994 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in color, p. 15).
New York, Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery, Illuminations (After Arthur Rimbaud), 2010 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, p. 19).
Special notice
Cancellation under the EU Consumer Rights Directive may apply to this lot. Please see here for further information.
Further details
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

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Lot Essay

Collapsing the divide between architecture and atmosphere, light and space, Dan Flavin’s Untitled (for S. D.), 1992, bathes its surroundings in an ultraviolet glow. Created at the end of his life, the present work is a vivid summation of the artist’s influential and signature series; indeed, Flavin’s fluorescent lights are now considered to be an icon of Minimalism, with examples held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Modern, London, among others. Flavin regularly dedicated his light works to friends, family, and cultural figures he admired, an act which imbued the otherwise austere installations with a sense of the personal; the titular S. D. of the present work refers to Susan Dunne, the director of Pace Gallery where an edition from this series was exhibited. Flavin arrived at the idea of using fluorescent tubes in the early 1960s after endeavouring for several years to paint in the style of the Abstract Expressionists. Inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, he began to use prefabricated lights as a means of challenging notions of authorship. But even as he refused artistic subjectivity, Flavin nevertheless employed a painterly, and often Romantic visual vocabulary: as critic Roberta Smith wrote, these are works ‘characterised by profound, even ecstatic beauty’ (R. Smith, ‘Dan Flavin, 63, Sculptor Of Fluorescent Light, Dies’, New York Times, 4 December 1996).

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