Dan Flavin untitled (to the "innovator" of Wheeling Peachblow) 1968

  • Not on view

Flavin began to use commercially available fluorescent light tubes in 1963 as a way to bring color and light into three dimensions. The white, pink, and yellow tubes take up an eight-square-foot corner area—a space not typically used to display art. Flavin did not consider his light works to be sculptures, instead calling them “situations” arising from the relationship between the physical object (the fluorescent tubing) and its illuminated surroundings. “One might not think of light as a matter of fact, but I do,” he stated. “And it is . . . as plain and open and direct an art as you will ever find.”

Gallery label from "Collection: 1940s—1970s", 2019
Additional text

Flavin began working with commercially available fluorescent light tubes in 1963. He exhibited them singly or in combination, innovating a complicated and varied range of visual effects using minimal means. Untitled (to the “innovator” of Wheeling Peachblow) derives its palette from Wheeling Peachblow, a type of Victorian art glass first made in Wheeling, West Virginia, that shades from yellow to deep red, producing a delicate peach color in between. Flavin created a similar color by placing one yellow and one pink fluorescent tube on each of the two vertical elements of a square metal armature. Two horizontal daylight tubes, facing the viewer, complete the structure.

Rather than hanging the work flush against the wall, Flavin positioned it on the floor across the corner of a gallery, where the square frames a monochrome plane of colored light and simultaneously defines an opening onto a three-dimensional space. In this way, untitled (to the “innovator” of Wheeling Peachblow) creates a visual effect that invokes the conditions of both painting’s flatness and sculpture’s depth without employing materials traditionally associated with either discipline.

Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
Fluorescent light and metal fixtures
8' 1/2" x 8' 1/4" x 5 3/4" (245 x 244.3 x 14.5 cm)
Helena Rubinstein Fund
Object number
© 2024 Estate of Dan Flavin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].