Neon and Fluorescent Light
Discovered in the late 19th century, neon light results from charged, glowing particles of the element neon and other gases in glass tubes. Since the 1920s, neon has most commonly been used for advertising and signage. It first entered the realm of fine art in the 1940s, when Argentine artist Gyula Košice became one of the first to incorporate neon elements into his sculpture. Ever since, artists have employed neon lighting, along with its close cousin fluorescent light, for its material qualities and its associations with scientific invention, commercialism, urban culture, and modernity. One of the most notable examples is artist Dan Flavin, who brought neon and fluorescent light to the forefront of abstract art and installation in the 1960s.