Galerie Perrotin is pleased to present the exhibition Dan Flavin “An Installation”, in collaboration with L&M Arts, from 14 January to 3 March 2012
Dan Flavin began making three-dimensional monochromes with mounted or barred fluorescent tubes or light bulbs in 1961 that he referred to as “Icons,” even though he contested any mystical or religious reference in his approach.
In a constant dialogue with painting, sculpture and architecture, he inaugurated in 1963 the work “the diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Constantin Brancusi),” an homage to “Endless Column,” comprised of a standard gold fluorescent tube which from then on became his only medium. His installations of infinite combinations transcend Duchampien gestures, radical in essence and minimal in form. Though the artist refused all ecstatic interpretation of his work, he created a sensorial and physical experience with colour and light having transformed into matter, introducing the presence of the immaterial.
The exhibition brings together 8 works starting in 1963 (“four red horizontals (to Sonja),” 1963 ; “white around a corner,” 1965 ; “‘monument’ for V. Tatlin,” 1967 ; “untitled,” 1975 ; “untitled (to Ksenija),” 1985 ; “untitled (to Don Judd, colorist) 4,” 1987 ; “untitled (to Charlotte),” 1987 ; “untitled (for John Heartfield) 3a,” 1990) and 3 preparatory drawings for the installations entitled “untitled (to the citizens of the Republic of France on the 200th anniversary of their revolution),” 1989.
Dan Flavin was born in 1933 in New York. Flavin attended prepatory school for the seminary in Brooklyn. In 1953, he enlisted in the Air Force where he trained as a meteorological technician. While working as a meteorological aide, Flavin began making and collecting art and visiting museums in Washington D.C., and New York. In the late 1950′s, Flavin attended Columbia University and studied Art History. Major exhibitions of Flavin’s work include those at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1967), the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1969), the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden (1989), and “Dan Flavin: A Retrospective”, a touring exhibition organized by Dia Foundation in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C (2004–2007) which traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago ; the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth, Texas ; Hayward Gallery, London ; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris ; Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich ; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
In 1983, The Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton, New York, was inaugurated in a converted firehouse. In 1992, he created a monumental work for the reopening of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Dan Flavin died in 1996, after having designed his ultimate work, inside the nave and the choir of Milan’s Chiesa Rossa.
At the same time, Galerie Perrotin organizes the solo show by Lionel Estève from 14 January to 3 March 2012.
Mystery, according to Lionel Estève, is the most enviable status for a work of art : anonymous, without a date and of uncertain origin. His graphic design “Myopic and Amnesiac”, at the Centre for Contemporary Art–CAC Brétigny, 2005, which was drawn on the ground, echoes the immense and inexplicable Nasca Lines. For his third exhibition at Galerie Perrotin, Lionel Estève has developed an empirical, sensual environment comprised of 10 to 15 meter long sculptures in acid colours made of fabric, sand and thousands of beads and pins like a vivarium where strange endemic, playful, ethno-pop serpents join together entwined. A few doors in trompe-l’oeil schematised by over-sized glass door handles and a line on the wall then invent another displacement through an imaginary and inaccessible mental space.
Lionel Estève freely reproduces the panoramic vision of a celestial vault composed of multi-coloured beads–like the fragile moving mobiles he previously showed at the gallery and elsewhere (Art Unlimited/Art Basel, 2005; Hermès Foundation, La Verrière, Brussels, 2011). Underneath this starry sky, a landscape of stones that are half painted with watercolour, evokes the bed of a river and the exhibition space metamorphoses into a Land Art site.
The third room is covered in large drawings with white-on-white geometric patterns. These ghostly fugitive images invoke Kinetic Art as well as De Stijl (Theo van Doesburg, El Lissitzky) through their motifs that are at once dynamic and ethereal.
Beyond the real, the exhibition becomes a space haunted by phobias that are both compelling and contradictory. The enigmatic works of Lionel Estève envelop the visitor with their fantasized secrets recreating a fictional realm close to that of Lewis Carroll or Magritte.