Dan Flavin’s Red Light, Shining at Paula Cooper, Is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik
THE DAILY PIC: Flavin mixes threat and beauty in a late piece.
This 1987 light piece by Dan Flavin, called untitled (to V. Mayakovsky) 1, is now on view at Paula Cooper in New York. I love the way it seems to lurk around the corner, like a mugger, hinting at its presence even before you come into the room. Somehow it manages to have a comic element, when so much light art can seem pristine and precious. I also like how it channels the red neon of signs, and pulls that kind of utterly commercial light into the gallery space. Even 20 years into his career and fame, Flavin could–sometimes–remember that his tubes started life on the street and in hardware stores. (© Dan Flavin. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York; photo by Steven Probert)
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