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Dan Flavin’s exhibition to start at newly opened Lotte Museum of Art

Jan. 25, 2018 - 19:29 By Shim Woo-hyun
Dan Favin’s exhibition will kick off Friday at the newly constructed Lotte Museum of Art, an exhibition space on the seventh floor of Lotte World Tower.

“Starting with the Dan Flavin exhibition, the Lotte Foundation for Arts will continue to introduce works of artists from here and abroad, whose works have not been introduced in the country,” said Han Kwang-kyu, the CEO of the Lotte Foundation for Arts, during a press conference at LMOA.

Dan Flavin is an American minimalist artist renowned for making sculpture objects and installations that use fluorescent lights and interplay with architectural spaces. The exhibition at LMOA will mark his first in Asia.

Under the theme of “Light,” the Dan Flavin exhibition will introduce 14 of the artist’s early works, curated by the Dia Art Foundation, a New York-based contemporary arts organization founded in 1974.

“Untitled (to Shirley and Jason)” by Dan Flavin (Lotte Museum of Art)

The exhibition was curated by LMOA with support from the Dia Art Foundation, a New York-based contemporary arts organization founded in 1974.

They chose Dan Flavin’s early works for the exhibition “to showcase how his early ideas about working with light, working with new materials and using industrial form of light fixtures were important to the concept of minimalism, as well as its origins,” said Courtney Martin, deputy director and chief curator of Dia Art Foundation.

The exhibition begins with “The Diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Constantin Brancusi),” Dan Flavin’s first work using fluorescent light. A 2.4-meter-long yellow fluorescent light is set against the wall at a 45-degree angle. 

“The Diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Constantin Brancusi)” by Dan Flavin (The Korea Herald/Shim Woo-hyun)

The title of the installment indicates the completion date of the artwork, as well as the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi, to whom Dan Flavin dedicated the work.

Also featured at the exhibition is “The Nominal Three (to William of Ockham)” completed in 1963. This work is regarded as the first work in which Flavin took the spatial aspect into account. It consists of three groups of one, two, three fluorescent tubes set separately against the wall.

The three simple groups of fluorescent lights are to highlight the artist’s own minimalism, while drawing a parallel with Ockham’s razor, a problem-solving principle attributed to William of Ockham that says simpler theoretical models are preferable to more complex ones.

Flavin’s “Untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection)” is one of the most complex and massive works by the artist. The work uses numerous 1.2-meter fluorescent lights -- in green -- to form squares that stretch across the space from one wall to another. Flavin included Heiner Friedrich’s name in the title in dedication to his longtime friend and patron, also the founder of Dia Art Foundation.

The exhibition space that spans some 1,300 square meters was designed by Korean architect Cho Byong-soo. The interior space was modestly altered, and the ceiling was slightly raised to house exhibitions, according to officials at Lotte Foundation for Arts.

By Shim Woo-hyun (