Dan Flavin’s alternate diagonals of March 2, 1964 (to Don Judd), an 8-foot-long diagonal beam of light set at a 45-degree angle, is a colorful sculpture of light that is visually arresting, even from across the room. As one approaches the work, it is difficult not to become almost blinded by the intensity of the light and the vivacity of the colors. Though it may strike one as garish on first glance, a more lengthy perusal reveals a delicate interplay between the red and yellow beams, giving the work a visual richness. Alternate diagonals was made by Flavin in response to one of his own previous works, the diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Constantin Brancusi). His first piece composed solely of light, the diagonal of May 25, 1963 was also an 8-foot-long fluorescent light sculpture (though Flavin never liked to call them sculptures— he referred to them as “situations”) hung at a 45-degree angle, and also included a yellow fluorescent light tube. Alternate diagonals seems almost more of an evolution of the former work than a response to it, but regardless of the exact nature of the intended interplay between the two, it is important to frame alternate diagonals as a companion work. Alternate diagonals known as a ready-made, a work of art composed entirely of objects that anyone could find and put together as the artist has. This is precisely what is so intriguing about the work— it toys with the boundaries of what we can define as a ready-made in contemporary art and, perhaps, within the field of art production itself. It forces a spectrum to be employed instead of a black-and-white categorization of the ready-made— a spectrum stretching between the “pure” ready-made (any work that essentially could be transferred straight from anyone’s garage to a gallery, such as Duchamp’s Bottle Rack), all the way to a contemporary two-dimensional work where the artist’s canvas and paints were purchased from an art supply store in an infinitely more manipulated but still semi-“ ready-made” fashion. Flavin’s piece, it seems, is situated somewhere in the center of such a spectrum, and raises the question of where the “ready” ends and the “made” begins.
The main point of the passage is to
(A) assert the superiority of ready-made art
(B) decry the broadening of the definition of art
(C) discuss a work in context and its effect on the discipline
(D) explain the relationship between two works of art
(E) praise an artist and his creations
According to the passage, both “diagonal” works could best be described as
(A) using red and yellow light
(B) initially striking the viewer as garish
(C) toying with boundaries of art
(D) running through the plane at a particular slope
(E) identical in concept
The author’s tone could best be described as
(A) admiring and supportive
(B) enthusiastic and fawning
(C) respectful and distant
(D) obligatory and unenthused
(E) erudite and objective
The passage implies which of the following?
(A) Conventional two-dimensional work is a thing of the past.
(B) Flavin is one of the most important artists of his time.
(C) Bottle Rack has very little artistic manipulation.
(D) Flavin disliked the word “sculpture” because of the Renaissance
(E) The best art work is in the center of the artistic spectrum of art production.