It’s hard to cull affect from Minimalism. Only those most prone to the pathetic fallacy—the same set who claim dogs smile or birds seem sad—will see ready emotion in the often deadpan, quotidian objects (wooden boxes, piles of bricks) that make up the oeuvres of artists like Robert Morris and Carl Andre. Yet the first exhibition solely devoted to the preparatory studies and sketches of Dan Flavin, master of the fluorescent light tube, provides a glimpse of another, more personal side to the practice of one of the most reticent and iconic Minimalists.
At a preview Thursday morning for the Morgan Library’s exhibition, “Dan Flavin: Drawing,” the show’s curator Isabelle Dervaux, told a group of journalists, “I’m sure all of you are familiar with Dan Flavin’s light installations. We installed two to remind everyone this is the same Dan Flavin we are talking about.”
A grueling 91-lot contemporary art sale at Christie’s last night paid off, bringing in a total of $247.6 million with premium included, within its pre-sale estimate of $226.5 million-$312.3 million. At least 13 auction records were set over the course of the evening, including new high marks for Paul McCarthy ($4,562,500), Barbara Kruger ($902,500), Louise Bourgeois ($10,722,500), Charles Ray ($3,106,500) and Roy Lichtenstein ($43,202,500). It was a “marathon sale” in the words of department head Brett Gorvy, but a lively one for the most part.