Tuesday, January 8, 2008

new semester.....crunch time


I would like to introduce Dan Flavin, a well known artist who creates works of art using colored fluorescent light tubing. His light works are of a minimalist nature because he utilizes only the simplest materials - light and color. In other words his sculptures are devoid of the usual ways arts of work are framed or exhibited.

Flavin comments on the meaning of his work in this way: ("The Strange Case of the Fluorescent Tubes", article by M. Gibson in magazine, "Art International" 1, Fall, 1987, pl 105:

"It is what it is, and it ain't nothin' else...There is no ovewhelming spirituality you are supposed to come into contact with...It's a sense of a "get-in-get-out" situation. And it is very easy to understand. One might not think of light as a matter of fact, but I do. And it is, as I said, as plain and open and direct an art as you will ever find". An example of Flavin's work is Monument, 1967, as displayed in the image above. One's response to Flavin's work then, will also be of a minimalist nature: that it is what it is - light is an essential element used in art.

Flavin usese commercially available fluorescent light tubes. The modern, simple and uniform lines of his light works add to the minimalist nature of his work.

I feel that this piece speaks to my own practice and my tendency towards minimalist aesthetic, simplicity and artificial light. I consider a lot of my work to be poetic, and the contrast of darkness/light can be easily married to the idea of poetry or the empowerment of a single idea with many posssibilities within that single thought.

I am planning to exhibit my ideas with light boxes. Standing between two illuminated images, one at the micro scale and the other at the macro scale, you can "see" the unseen. You can see the microcosm of the blood cells because light illuminates the tiny cells. Looking at the cosmic phenomena in the macro scale is possible because light is emitted by the stars.

In either case, seeing these images requires that we use our imagination, and believe that what we see through a microscope or telescope is what is truly there - since there is no way to physically be in either microcosm or macrocosm.

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