b. Jamaica, NY, USA, 1 April 1933 – d. Riverhead, NY, USA, 29 November 1996
Dan Flavin was an American minimalist artist famous for the use of fluorescent lights in his sculptures and situations from the early 1960s onwards. In 1956, he moved to New York to study art. In 1961, he created his first pieces incorporating lamps, which he placed around monochrome paintings in a series entitled Icons. He soon realised that light took precedence over painting in his work and decided to eschew canvas for exhibiting fluorescent lights, which he would assemble in a multitude of combinations of colour and form. With this radical move he redefined the concept of an artwork, rendering it inseparable from its immediate environment.
Numerous retrospective exhibitions of Dan Flavin’s work have been held all over the world: at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1992; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC in 2004; and more recently, at the Tate Modern in London in 2013, to name a few. His works are housed in the most prestigious collections, including those of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington.