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Indepth Arts News:

"Open House Celebration to Inaugurate Large-Scale Work in Fluorescent Light by Dan Flavin"
2000-10-07 until 2000-10-08
Chinati Foundation
Marfa, TX, USA United States of America

The Chinati Foundation is pleased to announce the inauguration of a new permanent installation in colored fluorescent light by Dan Flavin. The event will be the highlight of the museum's annual Open House celebration on October 7 and 8. Occupying six former army barracks, Dan Flavin's untitled (Marfa project) will be the artist's largest work and a monumental example of his site-specific installations. Originally commissioned by the Dia Art Foundation in the early 1980s, Flavin's Marfa project explores on a grand scale the use of colored light in space. The work stands as a pinnacle in the distinguished career of one of the most innovative artists of the twentieth century. Flavin began the plans for the Marfa project in 1981, he later completed the design for the installation six months before his death in November of 1996.

Artist Donald Judd (1928-1994) founded the Chinati Foundation, an independent museum for contemporary art in far West Texas, in 1986. Chinati's mission is to present and preserve installations of large-scale artworks or large groups of work permanently, in a natural situation, and according to the artists' directives. The permanent collection is exhibited at the former army Fort D.A. Russell, and includes works by Carl Andre, Ingólfur Arnarsson, John Chamberlain, Donald Judd, Ilya Kabakov, Barnett Newman, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, David Rabinowitch, and John Wesley. The addition of Dan Flavin's work to the permanent collection fulfills one of Judd's original goals for the museum.

Dan Flavin, untitled (Marfa project)
For his Marfa project, Dan Flavin designed one grand installation for six U-shaped buildings, which were formerly used as army barracks. Each building contains approximately 6,000 square feet of exhibition space and each utilizes one of Flavin's most original architectural inventions - barriers of suspended light fixtures that physically block a passageway. An architectural theme is established by the placement of two parallel, tilted corridors constructed in the back section of each building with light barriers placed alternately either in the center or at the ends of each slanted corridor. Space exists between the light fixtures, allowing views through and beyond the barrier. This theme is developed and expanded upon by the introduction of color sequences that move through three different combinations. The double barriers are composed of eight-foot tubes of colored fluorescent light. Each space is illuminated with changing color combinations, each light tube is backed with another, differently colored tube, shining in the opposite direction.

The six buildings at Chinati incorporate four colors: pink, green, blue, and yellow; the first two buildings feature pink and green; the next two, yellow and blue; and the last two buildings bring all four colors together. Daylight penetrates only through two windows at the end of each long arm of the U, permitting a view out onto the vast West Texas landscape. The Marfa project is a culmination of Flavin's subtle yet spectacular use of color and light in relation to specific architectural situations.

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