Dan Flavin, Untitled (to Barry, Mike, Chuck and Leonard), 1972-75, 8ft x 8ft installed in corridor, yellow & pink flourescent light fixtures
An exhibition of four works by Dan Flavin at Paula Cooper (through October 30) presents a fairly rare opportunity to glimpse the genius of Flavin's contribution. Each of the four pieces, made of pink and yellow flourescent fixtures, offers a simple iconic configuration that activates the space with maximum color intensity. The most elaborate work in the show is the 8ft square "barred corridor" piece, in which a grid of pink lights faces one direction, backed by yellow lights facing the other direction, built into a long corridor. From one end of the corridor, the space is bathed in yellow, with a sort of afterglow of pink in the spaces of the grid. From the other side, the space is pink with yellow undertones. Such direct and elegant formal solutions, yielding spatial experiences of extreme sensuality, set Flavin's best work apart from the dry austerity that characterizes much of the work of his compadres.