New York

Dan Flavin

Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

In this exhibition of white fluorescent light works by Dan Flavin, placement was everything. However singular some of the arrangements appeared, the fluorescent tubes’ relationships to one another and to the spaces in which they were installed gave the impression that there were no individual pieces on view. One of the galleries is enormous, with a pitched roof of wooden beams; the other is smaller (if not exactly intimate), with a high glass door whose opaque square panes form a grid. Flavin’s works punctuated these spaces, disturbing neither the grandeur of the one nor the concentration of the other. There was an air of discretion and care to the installation, as though each sculpture, illuminated from within (sometimes in contrasting tones of white), were a shrine.

Did the installation as a whole create an aura of transcendence, or did one get bogged down in the exquisite particularity

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