Flavin retrospective opens Lotte’s art museum : Exhibit highlights the works of pioneering minimalist artist
“We wanted to start with an exhibition that had never been held before in Korea,” Han Kwang-kyu, chief executive officer of the new museum, said in a press preview on Thursday. “An exhibition featuring minimalist art is rare even in other Asian countries. And we admire the conceptual shift of Flavin, who created artworks from industrial objects,” said Han.
Most of Flavin’s works from 1963 are made with commercially available fluorescent tubes in various colors, including yellow, green, pink and blue.
Flavin was quoted by the museum as saying, “I knew that the actual space of a room could be broken down and played with by planting illusions of real light at crucial junctures in the room’s composition.”
The exhibition features 14 of Flavin’s works from his relatively early days, as the title “Dan Flavin, Light: 1963-1974” suggests.
“These works show how he developed his ideas about working with materials and industrial objects,” said Courtney J. Martin, deputy director and chief curator of Dia Art Foundation.
The New York-based foundation that supports contemporary art projects loaned the works by Flavin for this exhibition.
The exhibition starts with his first work made solely of fluorescent light, “The Diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Constantin Brancusi).”
Why Romanian sculptor Brancusi? “It was Flavin’s announcement that he is an artist equal to sculptural master Brancusi, although Flavin was never trained as an artist but he studied art history,” explained Martin.
The title also implies Flavin’s inspiration from Brancusi, especially his “Endless Column,” which attempts to visualize infinity with a tall column made up of repeated motifs.
Many of Flavin’s works have the names of those who inspired him in their titles. Among the exhibits are “Monument for V, Tatlin”(1974). Flavin was inspired by Russian constructivist artist and architect Vladimir Tatlin, who embraced space in his works.
Among the other highlights is “Untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection).” It is a large-scale barrier with repeated grids made of green-light fluorescent tubes.
BY MOON SO-YOUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]
The exhibition runs until Apr. 8. Admission is 13,000 won ($12.25) for adults. Go to Jamsil Station, lines No. 2 and No. 8, exit No. 2. For details, visit www.lottemuseum.com or call 1544-7744.