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untitled (to Barnett Newman to commemorate his simple problem, red, yellow, and blue)
mixture of mercury vapor and argon gases. When electrified, the gases emit an ultraviolet radiation that causes the phosphorescent compounds that coat the inside of the sealed glass tube to glow. Different phosphors radiate at different wavelengths, thereby producing the multiple colors. Because colored light behaves differently than pigment, Flavin’s works often defy the expectations of viewers, who are frequently surprised and amused by the discovery of the properties of light. For example, mixing colors across the spectrum in pigment renders paint black; blending the colors of the light spectrum results, instead, in white light. This effect is beautifully illustrated (continue)

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