In an illustrated discussion marking the completion of a two-year renovation project, Richmond Hall: The Outside Story, Menil conservators Brad Epley and Shelley Smith travel back to 1996 when museum founder Dominique de Menil commissioned the Minimalist sculptor Dan Flavin to create an environmental work employing the industrial material the he had transformed into a medium of art, fluorescent light.
The three-part Flavin installation that now radiates from Richmond Hall (an elegant masonry structure, built in 1930 as a grocery store) stands as the artist's penultimate work and the final commission of de Menil. The exterior parts of the installation presented special challenges, some having to do with the frieze's green glow (which the artist called his "gift to the neighborhood").
Flavin specially chose the color, which generates the strongest and most far-reaching light. Light fixtures and lenses favored by the artist, once widely available are becoming obsolete. How do you conserve a work of art made from materials that may no longer exist?
This Conservation Talk will be led by Brad Epley, chief conservator, and Shelley Smith, sculpture conservator.