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Dan Flavin and Donald Judd Feb 15 - Mar 16, 2013
David Zwirner to Open a New Gallery Space in New York with an
Exhibition of Work by Dan Flavin and Donald Judd
Coinciding with the gallery’s 20-year anniversary, David Zwirner is pleased to
inaugurate a new five-storied exhibition and project space at 537 West 20th Street
with a presentation of works by Dan Flavin and Donald Judd.
Under the directorship of Kristine Bell and Christopher D’Amelio, the space
will compliment the primary market programming of the gallery’s three existing
West 19th Street locations a block away with presentations of large-scale
installations and historical, thematic surveys dedicated to the work of modern and
Designed by Selldorf Architects with the environmental design consultants and
engineers Atelier Ten, the building incorporates ca. 30,000 square feet over five
stories. Its outdoor spaces are designed by Piet Oudolf, the landscape architect
responsible for the nearby High Line. Built according to the highest environmental
standards, it will be the first commercial art gallery to receive LEED (Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The inaugural exhibition of
significant large-scale works by Flavin and Judd will showcase the versatility of the
building’s innovative architecture, while initiating the gallery’s ambitious program.
Among the forthcoming exhibitions planned for the space is an overview of Richard
Serra’s early work scheduled for April – June 2013 and, in the second floor galleries,
an intimate presentation of Blinky Palermo’s late works on paper will be on view (also
April – June 2013). A historical overview of John McCracken’s work will be presented in September – October 2013. Exhibitions of
works by gallery artists Doug Wheeler, Fred Sandback, and Al Taylor are also being planned.
About the exhibition:
As two of the most significant American artists of the post-war period, Dan Flavin and Donald Judd’s practices have come to define
what has been referred to as Minimalist art. The exhibition will present two significant installations by each artist demonstrating
their visually complex understanding of space and material through the use of light and form, from Flavin’s straightforward yet
dramatic use of fluorescent lamps to Judd’s highly polished aluminum constructions. The installations in this exhibition are in
dialogue with each other and share a distinctive and coherent understanding of the object, the space, and the viewer.
From the early 1960s until his death in 1996, Flavin produced a singularly consistent and prodigious body of work that utilized
commercially available fluorescent lamps to create installations of light and color that employed systematic compositions. This
exhibition will include a series of nine works by the artist collectively referred to as “the European Couples” made between
1966-1971, all of which have the same near-square cornered configuration. Each work is composed of an 8-foot square that is
one of the nine colors (excluding ultraviolet, which was not available in 8-foot lengths) of fluorescent lamps that Flavin used
in his system of lights: yellow, pink, red, blue, green, warm white, cool white, daylight, and soft white. While they each stand
alone as individual works, these constructions demonstrate Flavin’s interest in serial and permutational configurations. Presented
together the series produces an immersive, site-situational environment of light and color, which gives a unique perspective to
the architectural components of the new gallery space. The nine
works are dedicated to European friends and colleagues who
were influences in the artist’s life.
Judd began his practice as a painter in the late 1940s, although
he soon introduced three-dimensional elements into the surface
of his work. His first sculptural objects took the form of shallow
reliefs, and by 1963 he had begun to create freestanding works
that were presented directly on the floor and the wall. Throughout
his practice, Judd used materials such as plywood, steel, concrete,
Plexiglas, and aluminum and employed commercial fabricators
in order to get the surfaces and angles he desired. He created
declaratively simple, fundamental sculptural forms, many of which
took the shape of simple “boxes” or “stacks,” which he would
often arrange according to repeated or sequential progressions.
With the intention of creating work that could assume a direct
material and physical presence without recourse to grand philosophical statements, Judd eschewed the classical ideals of
representational sculpture to create a rigorous visual vocabulary that sought clear and definite objects as its primary mode
The exhibition will include an untitled five-unit sculpture from 1991 that demonstrates Judd’s visionary approach to using industrial
material as well as his considered attitude toward form, proportion, and installation. This work is unique within Judd’s overall
practice in that it is the only incident in which the artist combined circular columns within the square format of the aluminum box.
Each identically scaled freestanding box is arranged in a single row spanning across the gallery floor. Large in scale, this work
relates to Judd’s interest in what curator Barbara Haskell has called his “architecturally sensitive formulation of space.” 1 The interior
space of each box, which is open on each side, consists of vertical cylindrical forms in different spatial configurations, yielding a
dialectical tension that reflects light in different ways. Each unit is positioned exactly 30 cm (1/5 of the width of each unit) from the
other allowing the surrounding natural light in the space to bring out the subtle qualities of the material and form. Moreover, it
invites an ambulatory viewer, as it cannot be comprehended in its entirety from a singular point-of-view.
This exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to experience two large-scale presentations by Flavin and Judd that demonstrate
both artists’ unique ability to unify form and material while incorporating—through their deliberate installation and use of light and
color—the surrounding architecture into the perception of the works themselves.
About the artists:
Dan Flavin’s (1933-1996) work has been widely exhibited since the early 1960s and is currently on view in Dan Flavin: Lights at The
Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (MUMOK), Vienna (through February 3, 2013) and Dan Flavin: Drawing at the Kunsthalle
Bielefeld (through March 3, 2013). The Estate of Dan Flavin is exclusively represented by David Zwirner. The gallery presented
Dan Flavin: the 1964 green gallery exhibition in 2008 (at Zwirner & Wirth) and Dan Flavin: Series and Progressions in 2009 (at its
The work of Donald Judd (1928-1994) is included in numerous museum collections. Permanent installations of the artist’s work can
be found at Judd Foundation spaces in New York City, at 101 Spring Street (the newly restored building will open to the public in
June 2013), and Marfa, Texas, along with the neighboring Chinati Foundation. The Judd ranch house Casa Morales is available
for viewing by special appointment. Judd Foundation (Rainer Judd and Flavin Judd, Co-Presidents) is exclusively represented by
David Zwirner. In 2011, the gallery exhibited a selection of works by the artist drawn from his seminal 1989 exhibition held at the
Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany.
For further information, please contact Kristine Bell at 212 517 8677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For press inquiries, please contact Julia Joern at 212 727 2070 or email@example.com.
For press images, please contact Lauren Knighton at 212 517 8677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Barbara Haskell, Donald Judd. Exh. cat. (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1988), p. 96.