Dan Flavin Becomes Permanent at Stedelijk Museum
Tags: Amsterdam, Contemporary Art, Light Installations, Recent Acquisitions, Upcoming Exhibitions
The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam has announced the acquisition of two works by Dan Flavin to coincide with the reopening of the museum after nearly a decade of renovations and additions.
untitled (to Piet Mondrian through his preferred colors, red, yellow and blue) and untitled (to Piet Mondrian who lacked green) were originally designed for and installed in the museum in 1986 at the exhibition Dan Flavin: Light Installations.
The installation consists of Flavin’s iconic fluorescent light tubes, which are strategically integrated into the classical architectural environment.
Funding from Mondriaan Fonds, the Titus Circle of the Vereniging Rembrandt and a private donor made the purchase possible. Ann Goldstein, the director of the museum, expressed their excitement at being able to reacquire the piece over 25 years later:
“We are thrilled that this extraordinary work is now part of the museum’s permanent collection. One of the very few extant monumental works by Flavin that can actually be re-executed in its original site, its successful reinstallation in 2011 brought an extraordinary work of art back to the public and highlighted the Stedelijk’s significant history with the artist. Living with it again at that time prompted the desire to try to acquire the work.”
The 2011 reinstallation she refers to was a partial reopening of the museum in 2010-2011.
Flavin, an American artist who thrived in the 1960s and 1970s as part of the Minimalist movement, often referenced or honored other artistic figures in his works (“monument” for V. Tatlin– an homage to Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International– and untitled (to Barnett Newman to commemorate his simple problem, red, yellow, and blue) are both part of the Stedelijk’s collection as well).
His references to Mondrian allude to the Dutch artist’s adherence to a palette of primary colors (red, blue and yellow) and his aversion to green, which Flavin often uses as it is a principal color associated with light (along with red and blue).
Photo: Stephen Flavin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, courtesy of David Zwirner, New York