(American, 1933–1996) was a pioneer of Minimalism, best known for his illuminated installations of commercial light fixtures. Born in New York City, Flavin received his high school education at a seminary in Brooklyn, NY, as his father wished him to become a priest. He went on to study art history at the New School for Social Research and at Columbia University, while independently working on his own sculptural paintings. In 1961, Flavin began to incorporate electric lighting into his sculptures, and, by 1963, he worked exclusively with commercially available fluorescent tubes. Selecting colored lights directly off store shelves, Flavin established a number of standard forms for his work, such as standing lights in corners or hanging them off the wall, which he dubbed Corner Pieces
, and Corridors
The artist embraced the temporary nature of his artworks, which often shattered or blew out, and was happy to replace parts of his artworks as needed. Though not his stated intention, Flavin laid the grounds for Minimalism with his concern for simple forms, use of industrial materials, and symbolic meaning, along with artists such as Donald Judd
and Sol LeWitt
Flavin died in 1996 in Riverhead, NY, at the age of 63. A prominent collection of his work is preserved at the Dia Art Foundation in upstate New York.