Dan Flavin

  • “...on an American artist's education...”


    THE COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY art department and professional art school versions of an artist’s education still exist for the most part as formal indoctrination of students in art historical media. Inexperienced youngsters are conducted through righteous formats of technical vocational training couched in the pieties of occasional art talk, are instructed in lessons of pretentious past esthetics, all of which is encompassed by the ultimate censorship of art history. These restrictive procedures are augmented by certain innocuous studies in those ubiquitous educational amenities, the humanities

  • Some Other Comments . . .

    September 8, 1967

    Lake Valhalla

    Dear Henry, (Geldzahler)

    Welcome back (cough) to pacified Lindsay Heckscher Hovington under filth on Hudson where even parks are “funkie,” black posies bloom powerless, and “Molotov cocktails,” however hostilely hurled, are instantly extinguished, consumed by imperial Eastern-accented good will and glad tidings which circulate ceaselessly in all five ghettos. . . .

    Thank Claes Oldenburg for publigrossly debasing monumaudled symbultimentality just for the fun of it.

    AS A FRIEND, AN UPPER air analyst-painter,* Andy Bucci, would say so softly and conclusively, “This is

  • Some Remarks

    AS I HAVE SAID for several years, I believe that art is shedding its vaunted mystery for a common sense of keenly realized decoration. Symbolizing is dwindling—becoming slight. We are pressing downward toward no art—a mutual sense of psychologically indifferent decoration—a neutral pleasure of seeing known to everyone.

    I know now that I can reiterate any part of my fluorescent light system as adequate. Elements of parts of that system simply alter in situation installation. They lack the look of a history. I sense no stylistic or structural development of any significance within my proposal—only

  • “… in daylight or cool white.” An Autobiographical Sketch

    (to Frank Lloyd Wright who advised Boston’s “city fathers” to have a dozen good funerals as urban renewal)

    “. . . we might, if, like the things outside us we let the great storm over-ride us, grow spacious and anonymous.”

    —Maria Rainer Rilke

    “It looks like painting is finished.”

    —Don Judd

    “Dan Flavin has destroyed electric lights for me. I’m going back to candles.”

    —Tom Doyle

    MY NAME IS DAN FLAVIN. I am thirty-two years old, overweight and underprivileged, a Caucasian in a Negro year.

    I was born (screaming) a fraternal twin twenty-four minutes before my brother, David, in Mary Immaculate Hospital,