Monument to V. Tatlin
Dan Flavin, American, 1933 - 1996
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Removed from its typical context and function, the standard fluorescent light tube became a rich resource in Dan Flavin's work. This piece, one of his "Monuments to Tatlin" created between 1964 and 1982, is named for the Russian Constructivist artist Vladimir Tatlin (1885-1953). Tatlin's own (never-realized) Monument to the Third International (1919) was to be a spiraling structure of rotating glass rooms suspended in an open iron framework, designed in celebration of the Russian revolution and the modern technological age. In Monument to V. Tatlin, Flavin, who described his sculptures as "anti-monuments," expresses his ambivalence toward Tatlin's utopian ideals while creating his own equally radical work of pure abstraction.