The exact date of this episode is unknown. We've filled in the date above with a placeholder. What we actually have on record is: 1970-03-05 & 1970-03-11.
This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
While Ruth Bowman does her best to get the artist to talk about himself and his own work, and he does talk a little about the medium and format in which he works, it is clear that Dan Flavin has much more to say on issues in the art world and the systems in which they function.
The artist is very outspoken about art critics, museums and galleries. For Flavin, “art is what people think it is,” and the mediating art critic only serves to further separate people from the art itself. He goes on to promote the idea that museums should have a more direct connection with their living artists and is forthright in his critique of institutions, like the Museum of Modern Art, for not doing so. Flavin offers his critique, not only of established institutions, but of artists as well. He accuses the Art Worker’s Coalition, for example, of being too disparate and political.
Flavin also discusses his reluctant relationship with the gallery system. He admits to being much more critical of galleries in the past, but now sees them as a necessary evil. He jests, “there are some restrictions, I recognize it, [in] commercially committing yourself, but I’m not choking on it.” Suffice it to say, Flavin has very decided opinions concerning the various players in the art world and is not afraid to voice them. As Ruth Bowman concludes, “I’m glad you came here to irritate and excite us and even give us some satisfaction.”
WNYC archives id: 8650