New York

Dan Flavin

David Zwirner | 525 & 533 West 19th Street

Somehow, no matter how many times I see Dan Flavin’s work, I always seem to harbor the exact same misconceived expectation, namely that I’m going to encounter things of striking perceptual luxury—light mobilized within spatial scenarios à la James Turrell or Olafur Eliasson, say, in which the physical apparatus of the lamp is simply a vehicle for producing the radiant focus of the show, a nonphysical (even metaphysical) form of illumination that envelops and swallows the viewer in its lyrical maw.

Of course, this is for the most part misremembered bunk: Flavin was no mystic and his work—as this recent exhibition, the first appearance of the late artist at David Zwirner since the gallery began representing his estate, clearly demonstrated—is in practice more correctly aligned with the unadorned, system-based Minimalist programs of Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre, or Donald Judd than with any of the

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