New York

Dan Flavin

Castelli Gallery | Uptown

Dan Flavin acknowledged the death of Barnett Newman with a modest show at Castelli in which one piece was specifically dedicated to the late master. There is something vaguely offensive about dedicating pieces of visual art to the deceased; it is perhaps like sending candy rather than flowers to a funeral. (And Flavin has just done it again in the Whitney Annual.) Anyway, one looks closely for formal justification for such a dedication. Flavin’s untitled piece was a frame arrangement from floor to ceiling with blue and red verticals facing into a corner and a pair of yellow horizontals facing into the room. Aside from the use of the primaries there seemed to be almost nothing to connect this piece with the enterprise of Newman’s painting. There is, however, a certain quality of the fluorescent tubes that finds a parallel in Newman’s painting, namely, the sense that the lighted tube, like

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