“Dan Flavin: Constructed Light” at the Pulitzer Foundation

Photo: Robert Pettus.  (c) Stephen Flavin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

There is an amazing exhibition of Dan Flavin’s work at the Contemporary’s neighbor, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis. Dan Flavin: Constructed Light will be on view until October 2008.

The exhibition showcases the power of Flavin’s work better than anywhere I’ve seen the work installed. This is partly due to the fact that Tadao Ando’s entire building has been turned over to Dan Flavin’s work and Tiffany Bell, who was the project director of the Dan Flavin catalogue raisonné and who serves as curator and archivist for the Flavin Studio, curated the exhibition. The installation was realized with the oversight and assistance of Stephen Morse, who is the Exhibition Coordinator and Conservator of the Flavin Studio. This show equally shows off the talents of the architect Ando and the artist Flavin – and together the audience is given something magical.

Photo: Robert Pettus.  (c) Stephen Flavin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Here’s a link to a video of Steve Morse as he describes the installation of the exhibition and where he answers: how can you posthumously install an exhibition of Dan Flavin‚Äôs work in a space he is not familiar with?


  1. Jim K says:

    I am a bit disappointed (although not surprised) in Paul Ha’s blog discussion of the St. Louis arts scene. Several major institutions were completely ignored, and the focus was entirely on his own museum (although not on its current exhibitions, interestingly enough) and the building connected to it (the Pulitzer, which is only open to the public two brief times each week). Other exciting venues featuring world-class contemporary art include Laumeier Sculpture Park, Washington University’s Kemper Art Museum, and White Flag Projects, with other alternative arts spaces such as Boots Contemporary Art Space adding to the ever-expanding arts scene in St. Louis. It’s a shame that Paul Ha cannot see beyond his own building to the other great arts resources in the St. Louis area.
    I would encourage Art:21 to invite other museum directors and curators from the St. Louis area as guest writers for this blog.
    -Jim K

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  3. I think Jim K. is right to suggest more voices from St. Louis’ rapidly improving art scene would be great to see on this blog, but it’s not fair to blame Paul Ha for writing about big blockbuster shows like Lin and Flavin that will appeal to a national audience ( has the Pulitzer ever looked as strong as it does with the Flavin show? Brancusi /Serra maybe?) or suggest that he or the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis don’t see beyond their own walls.

    One could make a pretty good argument that Ha and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis are doing more with the new art energy is St. Louis than any of the other big museums that Jim K. mentions- who else is letting local galleries and curators show in their building carte blanche, as the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis has with their new FRONT ROOM project space? Who else is flying alternative art space directors in from around the country for symposiums with the hometown crowd, as the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis did just this past weekend? And that’s not even mentioning what they do for local artists: The Great Rivers Biennial ($20kx3 locals), City Wide Open Studios, Contemporary Flat Files, Open Laptops, Visiting Curator and Critic Studio Visits, etc… all programs coming under Ha’s leadership as far as I know.

    Yeah- things are getting good here, and Jim K. is right to notice the word isn’t fully out yet, and this would be a good forum for a little talking-up, but let’s give Ha more than two entries before condemning him. It’s pretty cool we have someone in St. Louis with a sufficient reputation for ART:21 to invite at all- if this kind of thing had been around ten years ago I’d guess NOTHING in town would have been mentioned.

    Matthew Strauss
    DIRECTOR
    White Flag Projects, St. Louis

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