Donald Judd met Dan Flavin in 1962 at a gathering in a Brooklyn apartment organized to discuss the possibility of a cooperative artist-run gallery. They exhibited together a year later when their work was included in New Work: Part I at Richard Bellamy’s Green Gallery, New York (January 8–February 2, 1963). As their mutual friend, the artist John Wesley, has said of their friendship, “[the two] became Flavin and Judd for a while. The two names were together.”1

In an article published in Artforum in 1966, Flavin wrote, “My drawing is not at all inventive about itself. It is an instrument not a resultant.” His “diagrams,” as he referred to them, offered a way to visualize works in fluorescent light both before and after they were fabricated; he noted that “I still feel that the composite term ‘image-object’ best describes my use of the medium.”2

This drawing is reminiscent of his Red and green alternatives (to Sonja), a single-unit work, also from 1964, although the work itself is horizontally oriented, as opposed to the vertical orientation in variations on a theme of June 1, 1964, 1964.

Marianne Stockebrand, “A Conversation with John Wesley,” Chinati Foundation newsletter 10 (October 2005), 1.
Dan Flavin, “Some Remarks . . . Excerpts from a Spleenish Journal,” Artforum,December 1966, 28.