During the 1930s and ’40s, neon signs gave a distinct sense of glamour. As neon became cheaper and readily available, cities became illuminated in a unique way. However, it took a few decades for the medium to become a fascinating subject for artists. In the late 1950s and ’60s, the material first moved into the cultural conversation, blurring the divide between the new consumerism and art. Andy Warhol, the master of Pop Art, called the material one of “the great modern things“.
A range of the 1960s and 1970s artists pushed the boundaries of the medium, from Joseph Kosuth who created neon-lit text pieces that pushed conceptions of art, to Dan Flavin who created minimal light installations that moved beyond text and representational pieces.
Neon has remained an integral part of the vernacular fabric of the commercial, the contemporary and the urban. The use of neon in contemporary art prevails, indicative of artists’ interests in considering and representing contemporary everyday life. Through the work of a range of contemporary neon artists, the medium continues to take on more expanded and elusive meanings.
We bring you a selection of neon works of art that can enlighten your wall right now.
Featured image: Doze Green – Archons 2, 2017. All images courtesy of their respective galleries.
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