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Collection > Dan Flavin >

"monument" for V. Tatlin

1969

  • Medium

    Cool white flourescent light with fixture

  • Dimensions

    96 x 32 x 5 (243.8 x 77.5 x 12.7cm)

  • Accession number

    86.67

  • Object label

    Eight standard white fluorescent light tubes and their metal fixtures comprise Dan Flavin’s minimalist sculpture. The use of everyday materials, a common strategy of minimalist artists, served to overcome the gap that normally separates an art object from its viewers. Flavin’s work generates ambient light that reaches into the viewer’s space. The form, resembling a skyscraper, refers to a never-realized, but nonetheless influential, monument to an organization supporting Communist revolution designed by the Russian constructivist artist Vladimir Tatlin in 1920. It was to be a spiraling steel framework thirteen hundred feet tall in which rotating glass rooms would be suspended. Though utterly impractical engineering-wise, it remains an influential symbol of the artist’s efforts to combine art and technology. Flavin’s “monument,” despite its low-tech, small-scale nature, pays homage to Tatlin’s futuristic, utopian ideals.

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