Permanent installation of nine Dan Flavin works and the special exhibition Fred Sandback Prints 1971-79

Jun 10, 2004

New York, NY-The Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton, New York, opened its summer 2004 season on Thursday, May 20, with the institute's permanent installation of nine fluorescent light works by Dan Flavin and the special exhibition Fred Sandback Prints 1971-79, drawn from Dia's extensive collection of Sandback's work. Built by and for Flavin, the Dan Flavin Art Institute has been supported and maintained by Dia Art Foundation since 1983. The Dan Flavin Art Institute is located on Corwith Avenue, off Main Street. Hours are Thursday through Sunday, 12 noon to 6 pm; admission is free. To coincide with the first major retrospective of Flavin's work, opening at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. in early October 2004, the summer 2004 season in Bridgehampton has been extended through October 3, 2004. The retrospective is organized by Dia Art Foundation in association with the National Gallery.

Planned by the artist for the second-floor gallery of the Bridgehampton space, the permanent installation of nine of Flavin works traces his practice from 1963-when he decided to work solely with standard fluorescent fixtures and tubes-to 1983, when the presentation was realized. In creating this exhibition, Flavin conceived of the sculptures and the architecture as a single, unified installation. By manipulating the formal, phenomenal, and referential characteristics of light, the installation asks viewers to consider a series of contrasts-between colors, intensities of light, structure and formlessness, the obvious and the mysterious, and the serious and the humorous.

For the summer 2004 season, a special presentation of prints by Fred Sandback, selected from Dia's collection, has been planned for the first-floor gallery. Fred Sandback Prints 1971-79 includes works printed on a range of papers and representing a wide variety of printmaking techniques, including linocut, etching, lithograph, silkscreen, and wood engraving. Included in the exhibition are Eight Variations for Heiner Friedrich Gallery (1971-73), a suite of eight silkscreen prints on yellow paper; and an untitled suite of eight linocuts on blue ground, among other works. This is the latest in a series of temporary exhibitions at the Dan Flavin Art Institute that have included presentations by Louise Bourgeois (1989) and Andy Warhol (1987 and 1992), among others.

The Dan Flavin Art Institute is located in the former First Baptist Church of Bridgehampton. Originally built as a firehouse in 1908, the building operated as a church from 1924 to the mid-1970s. In 1979, Dia purchased the building to use as a gallery for Dan Flavin. The building was renovated under the direction of the artist with the assistance of Dia's James Schaeufele and architect Richard Gluckman. The renovation evokes the building's former uses: a newel post in the entrance hall is painted red in memory of the building's years as a firehouse, and the original church doors have been moved to the entrance of a small exhibition space on the second floor that contains memorabilia, including a neon cross, collected from and about the church.

Dan Flavin: A Retrospective
Organized by Dia Art Foundation in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., a major retrospective exhibition of Flavin's work will open to the public at the National Gallery on October 3, 2004. The first comprehensive gathering of works by Flavin, the exhibition includes forty-four fluorescent light works, as well as a significant representation of the artist's drawings, encompassing a full range of work, from the early "icons" to more recent large-scale installations. The retrospective will be on view at the National Gallery through January 9, 2005, after which it will travel nationally.

An exhibition catalogue and a complete catalogue of Flavin's light works, both published on the occasion of the retrospective, include critical essays, a chronology, and color photography, providing a valuable resource on Flavin's work. Both Dan Flavin: A Retrospective and Dan Flavin: The Complete Lights, 1961-1996 are published by Dia Art Foundation in association with Yale University Press.

Dan Flavin
Born in 1933 in New York City, where he later studied art history at the New School for Social Research, Dan Flavin exhibited nationally from 1963 onward. He lived and worked for most of the last twenty years of his life in Bridgehampton and Wainscott, Long Island. Flavin died on November 29, 1996.

In addition to maintaining the Dan Flavin Art Institute, Dia's support for Flavin and his work includes the commission of site-specific installations in Marfa, Texas; Grand Central Station, New York City; and, most recently, in 1996, for the staircases of Dia:Chelsea, Dia's exhibition facility at 548 West 22nd Street, New York City. Dia's permanent collection includes more than forty additional works by the artist, including works from the "monuments" to V. Tatlin series, and an untitled work from 1970 currently on view at Dia:Beacon, Dia's museum for its permanent collection located in Beacon, New York.

Fred Sandback
Fred Sandback was born in Bronxville, New York, in 1943. After receiving a B.A. in philosophy at Yale, he studied sculpture, with Donald Judd and Robert Morris, at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture. Sandback's first one-person exhibitions were at the Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf, and the Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich, both in 1968. His work was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art's Annual exhibition of 1968, the Biennale of Sydney, 1976, and the Biennial Exhibition of American Artists at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1979. In 1981 the Dia Art Foundation initiated and maintained a museum of his work, the Fred Sandback Museum in Winchendon, Massachusetts, which was open until 1996. Dia itself presented exhibitions of his works in 1988 and in 1996-97 at Dia:Chelsea in New York City, and currently exhibits several of his sculptural works at Dia:Beacon in Beacon, New York. Sandback died in 2003.

Dia Art Foundation
Dia Art Foundation was founded in 1974. A nonprofit institution, Dia plays a vital role among visual arts organizations nationally and internationally by initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects, and by serving as a locus for interdisciplinary art and criticism. Dia presents its permanent collection at Dia:Beacon Riggio Galleries, in Beacon, New York; exhibitions and public programming at Dia:Chelsea, in New York City (currently closed for renovations); and long-term, site-specific projects in the western United States, in New York City, and on Long Island.

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, or 212 293 5518

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