Entertainment Dan Flavin, virtuoso of the neon chord

Dan Flavin, virtuoso of the neon chord

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Dan Flavin, it starts before you start. For example outside the gallery, in front of the glass entrance door. A reddish halo escapes from one of his works in fluorescent tubes. In fact, on the day of the visit, a kid walking by pulls on his mother ("Oh, it's beautiful!") before even seeing the thing – but no, the mother does not turn back, she intends to go opposite, at Xippas, see the Joel Sternfeld exhibition.

The American (1933-1996) called his works "Situations" and it’s true that something always happens when one is bathed in its particles of light. His friend Donald Judd, the pope of the art movement 'Minimal' (he hated the name) put it best: "I want a particular, definite object. I think Flavin wants, at least first or primarily, a particular phenomenon " ("Me, I want a particular, defined object. I believe that Flavin wants, first, a particular phenomenon"). The gallery of the New York giant David Zwirner, recently installed in Paris, offers to familiarize yourself with these "Special phenomena" by exhibiting ten of his works running over thirty years of his career. This is a superb little demonstration of the Flavin project: radically transforming space with a minimum of resources, that is to say tubes found on the market; make the artist's hand disappear (and the egotistical ranting of abstract expressionism that preceded it); change until you apprehend a place, the way to get around it, thanks to variations in light and color. Ultimately, create with light for any material. An art "Without mystery", a "Inexpressive magic".

The centerpiece of the expo is a "barrier" (Untitled, 1970) originally installed in the loft of his friend Judd. It is made up of twelve very large rectangles overlapping at regular intervals, bordered by blue tubes at the bottom and top, and red tubes on the sides. The repetition, the systematism, the line of flight give the impression that the work could be propagated endlessly. The large glass room where it is installed is imbued with blue, and the concrete floor reflects the light segments. You have to walk it all of a sudden to lose your bearings, and even to the apprehension of the space that surrounds it.

Another room exhibits only works made of white tubes – it is nonetheless very satisfactory: a neon placed diagonally on the wall, Leaning Diagonal of March 27, 1964 (to David Smith), beautifully divides the space into invisible volumes and plans. In the last piece, the installation of four works from 1987 playing on repetition and variation, Untitled (for Frederika and Ian), works like the simple application of a mathematical theorem (five pink neon lights, one red neon light; three pink neon lights, one red and one yellow one; three pink ones, one yellow and one blue one, etc.) but never stops creating a wonder which, for its part, is not mechanical.

Elisabeth Franck-Dumas

Dan Flavin Galerie David Zwirner, 75003. Until 1st February.

. (tagsToTranslate) Halo (t) Dan Flavin (t) Paris (t) Neon (t) Minimalism (t) Space (t) Abstract expressionism (t) Frederika of Hanover (t) Vanishing lines (t) David Smith (t ) Concrete (t) Joel Sternfeld (t) Magic (t) New York (t) Jean Joseph Louis Frédéric de Carrière (t) Donald Judd (t) Pope (t) Fluorescent tubes (t) Phenomenon (t) United States ( t) Light (t) Glass (t) news (t) news

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