Artwork of the month January

Dan Flavin, Untitled (to Annemarie and Gianfranco Verna), 1987

Dan Flavin

* 1933 in Jamaica, New York
† 1996 in Riverhead, New York

 Untitled (to Annemarie and Gianfranco Verna), 1987

1987 Installation of seven fluorescent tubes (pink, green, yellow)
255 x 20.7 x 9 cm, Ed. 1/5

Purchased with funds of the Lampadia Foundation, Vaduz

Untitled (to Annemarie and Gianfranco Verna) consists of seven equally sized industrial fluorescent tubes whose dimensions correspond to a commonly available basic module. The arrangement of the fluorescent material follows a structural concept in relation to the particular colour: the number of fluorescent tubes hanging vertically on the wall is doubled from colour to colour – with one yellow light source in the middle, two green tubes on the left and right, and four pink tubes on the outsides. Arranged above each other, the latter form two straight lines of double length. Standing in front of the piece, its proportions thus give the impression of a form aligned and erected to human dimensions. At the same time, the symmetrical arrangement of coloured light sources gives rise to an experience of light and space that draws the viewer's attention away from the object itself to an observation of perception, that is constantly changing as a result of one's own movement. The visitor can thus experience the inherent quality of the colours in a manner constituting space, with the boundaries between the work, space and viewer becoming permeable.

Dan Flavin's work is set in the context of minimal art. In this sense, concentration on the actuality of the work in situ takes precedence over in-depth reflection, contemplative invention or referential symbolism: "The facts of these constructions were more important than any language that was attached to them." And yet it is hard to escape the mystical, romantic, almost sacred language of the effect of light and colour in Flavin's work – with Dan Flavin himself noting: "There are lots of aspects that come up and you're only partially conscious of them. That's the freedom of art. People are going to experience what you do as they have to, and perhaps not as you might best like to direct them according to your own sense of place. Just as well."

Denise Rigaud

<b>Dan Flavin, Untitled (to Annemarie and Gianfranco Verna), 1987</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.