Light Works: Dan Flavin and Robert Irwin, Art from the 1960s

March 21–July 8, 2012

Stanford, Calif. — From March 21 through July 8, the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presents “Light Works: Dan Flavin and Robert Irwin,” which features two large pieces. One work is by installation artist and painter Dan Flavin (U.S.A., 1933–1996). The other is by environmental artist and sculptor Robert Irwin (U.S.A., born 1928).

Beginning in the 1920s, with the work of the Constructivists, electric light became a medium for art. With the advent of Minimalism in the late 1960s, artists found that using light as a medium could challenge perception and be impersonal as well as emotionally engaging.

Flavin’s work, “monument” for V. Tatlin (1969), which is on loan from the Fisher Family, is a representative example of the artist’s use of mass-produced fluorescent light. It is characteristic of the industrial materials preferred by Minimalists such as Carl Andre and Donald Judd. The untitled disc (1967) by Irwin, on loan to the Center by sisters Lisa Terbell LaHorgue, Alison Terbell Nikitopoulos, and Jennifer Terbell Wisdom, typifies the interest in light and space that occupied a number of artists working in Los Angeles in the 1960s.

These two works, on view in the Halperin Family Gallery, complement “Wood, Metal, Paint: Sculpture from the Fisher Collection,” in the Oshman Family Gallery, and provide another look at the diverse artistic approaches in the 1960s.

“Light Works: Dan Flavin and Robert Irwin” is made possible by support from the Halperin Exhibitions Fund.

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VISITOR INFORMATION: Cantor Arts Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 11 am - 5 pm, Thursday until 8 pm. Admission is free. The Center is located on the Stanford campus, off Palm Drive at Museum Way. Parking is free after 4 pm weekdays and all day on weekends. Information: 650-723-4177,

PUBLICITY PHOTOS: For high-resolution images, contact PR Assistant Manager, Margaret Whitehorn: 650-724-3600,

Students study the Dan Flavin sculpture “monument” for V. Tatlin. Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Dan Flavin, “monument” for V. Tatlin, 1969. Cool white fluorescent light. Loan courtesy the Fisher Family.
© 2012 Stephen Flavin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York