Dan Flavin - Harold Joachim

Dan Flavin (1933-1996)
in honor of Harold Joachim in pink, yellow, blue and green fluorescent light 8’ high and wide, 1984
Pen and ink and colored pencil on graph paper
17 x 21 7/8 inches (43.2 x 55.6 cm) Drawing done by Helene Geary
Collection of Stephen Flavin
© 2012 Stephen Flavin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Dan Flavin - Sails

Dan Flavin (1933-1996)
Sails, 1986
11 x 14 inches (35.6 x 28 cm)
Collection of Stephen Flavin
© 2012 Stephen Flavin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Dan Flavin: Drawing, at the Morgan Library & Museum

Best known for his fluorescent light installations, Dan Flavin (1933-1996) was also an avid draftsman and collector of drawings. The self-taught artist often turned to drawing to plan his constructions and installations.

February 17 — July 1, 2012

Source: Morgan Library and Museum

For the first time, the central role that drawing played in Flavin’s art will be explored in a major exhibition at The Morgan Library & Museum.

The show includes more than 100 drawings by the artist —from early abstract expressionist watercolors of the 1950s to studies for his seminal light installations and late pastels of sailboats. In addition, the exhibition features nearly 50 works from the artist’s personal collection of drawings, including nineteenth-century American landscapes by Hudson River School artists, Japanese drawings, and 20th century works by artists such as Piet Mondrian, Donald Judd, and Sol LeWitt.

Early works
"Dan Flavin: Drawing" begins with the artist’s early drawings and watercolors. Landscapes are often the subjects of these works, and they reveal his interest in atmospheric and meteorological conditions, stemming from his training as a meteorological technician while in the Air Force.

Drawings for icons and related constructions
Flavin’s first sustained series of constructions with light are the icons, created between 1961 and 1963. Each consists of a painted wooden square to which one or more lamps have been attached. Although only eight were fabricated, drawings document ideas for many more.

Drawings for fluorescent light installations
From 1963 until the end of his life, the fluorescent light installations for which he is celebrated constituted Flavin’s main artistic production. These were first worked out in rapid sketches on the pages of the 3 x 5 inch notebooks he carried with him at all times.

Landscapes, sails, and portrait drawings
Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of Flavin’s drawing production is the numerous landscape sketches he made outdoors from observation. Particularly drawn to riverbanks and ocean shores, he often sketched views of the Hudson River and Long Island beaches.

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Drawings by Ingres at the Morgan Library and Museum (exhibition, 2011)

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