los-angeles

Dan Flavin

ACE Gallery

Perhaps Dan Flavin is he, but a) he doesn’t call his work sculpture and b) I don’t know that Flavin will ever be anywhere near understood. Not that he hasn’t tried to explain himself; somebody gave me a catalog of the Canadian retrospective Flavin was awarded two years ago, and it’s chock-full of revelations, not the least of which is a whiny, lyrical, confessional autobiography through which Flavin injects, ex post facto, a first novelist’s drama into what appears as a cuddly, crisis-free, middle class upbringing:

"I continued to draw, to doodle somewhat privately in class, in the margins of my textbooks. Now there were battered profiles of bloodied boxers with broken noses and Dido’s pyre on a wall in Carthage, its passionate smoke piercing ‘pious’ Aeneas’ faithless heart outbound in the harbour below.

“Young Father Fogarty, my second year Latin professor, was unimpressed with such

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