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Constructing Space

Explore how Minimalist artists engaged with their physical surroundings.

pink out of a corner (to Jasper Johns)

Dan Flavin
(American, 1933–1996)

1963. Fluorescent light and metal fixture, 8' x 6" x 5 3/8" (243.8 x 15.2 x 13.6 cm)

As its title suggests, pink out of a corner (to Jasper Johns) was made to be installed in a corner. When a viewer looks at the work for a sustained period of time in close proximity, the light creates the effect of a cylinder much wider than the tube itself. Made the year Flavin began to use commercially available fluorescent light tubes, (limited to what was commonly available at the time), this work marries color and light, bringing them into three dimensions.

Flavin did not consider his works to be sculptures, because they consist not only of the physical object (the fluorescent tube) but also of the space illuminated by the light. When the light shining from the tube touches people or objects, it illuminates and colors these as well. Flavin’s work unites color with light and space, bringing color into three dimensions and transforming the surrounding space.

Jasper Johns. Flag. 1954–55 (dated on reverse 1954).

Jasper Johns. Flag. 1954–55 (dated on reverse 1954). Encaustic, oil, and collage on fabric mounted on plywood, three panels, 42 1/4 x 60 5/8″ (107.3 x 153.8 cm). Gift of Philip Johnson in honor of Alfred H. Barr, Jr. © 2012 Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

This work is dedicated to artist Jasper Johns, whose painting Flag also blurred the boundaries between real objects and their representation.

A three-dimensional work of art made by a variety of means, including carving wood, chiseling stone, casting or welding metal, molding clay or wax, or assembling materials.

A work of art made from paint applied to canvas, wood, paper, or another support (noun).

The visual portrayal of someone or something.

The perceived hue of an object, produced by the manner in which it reflects or emits light into the eye. Also, a substance, such as a dye, pigment, or paint, that imparts a hue.