Robert Irwin, “Calexico,” 2013, light+shadow+reflection+color, 72" x 251-1/2" x 4-1/4”, © Robert Irwin. Photo credit Philipp Scholz Rittermann.
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“In a world saturated with spectacle and the kind of augmented reality made possible through the digital, Irwin’s work, by contrast, raises critical questions about the fundamental nature of how and what we perceive and the value of ‘looking at and seeing all of those things that have been going on all along but previously have been too incidental or meaningless to really enter into our visual structure, our picture of the world.’” [i]
Quint Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of new work by seminal Light and Space artist Robert Irwin. This is Irwin’s second solo exhibition at QCA. The opening reception will take place on Saturday, February 22nd from 6 – 8PM, it is open to the public and the artist will be in attendance.
“There are in aesthetic experience potentially as many “arts” as there are encounters with its incidences in the world. In confusing the art/object of “art” with the subject of art, we objectively tried to hold to the idea of one transcending art. While there is no one transcending “Art,” there is one infinite subject: The subject of art is aesthetic perception.” – Robert Irwin, from Notes Toward a Model, 1977
Robert Irwin’s philosophical essay from 1977 is still as relevant today. The Whitney Museum of Art, which originally published this essay, recreated an installation that Irwin first created in 1977, which was on view in their museum in 2013. The simple, scrim filled room brought to light the inherit qualities of the space, which changed throughout the day and engaged the viewer. The new work in the exhibition at QCA has to do with light and the way in which it can be utilized to permeate and alter a space. “Aesthetic perception” is very important to the work and the way the viewer perceives the artwork. In a review about these light+shadow+reflection+color pieces Rhama Khazam stated, “By deconstructing the process of perception, Irwin allows us (the viewer) to see how we see.” This phenomenological way of engaging the viewer makes Irwin’s artworks intriguing and perceptually challenging.
Over the last 50 years Irwin has produced many extraordinary exhibitions and projects including: “Fractured Light – Partial Scrim – Eye Level” Museum of Modern Art, New York (1970-1971); “Black Line Room Division + Extended Forms” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1977); “48 Shadow Planes” Old Post Office, Washington DC (1983); “9 Spaces, 9 Trees” Seattle, Washington (1983); “Two Running Violet V Forms” Stuart Collection, UCSD, California (1983); “Ascending” Musee d’ Art Moderne deVille Paris, France (1994); “Arts Enrichment Master Plan: Miami International Airport” Miami, Florida (1988); “Double Diamond” Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon, France (1997-1998); “1º 2º 3º 4º” Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (1997); “Exercises” Dia Center for the Arts, New York, “The Central Garden” J Paul Getty, Los Angeles (1998); “Architecture and Grounds” Dia Beacon, New York (2003); “Primaries and Secondaries” Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2007-2008); “Black on White” J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2011-2012); “Niagara” Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (2012); “Hedge Wedge” San Diego Federal Courthouse Building, San Diego (2012); “Black Line Room Division + Extended Forms” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2013); “Double Blind” Vienna Secession, Vienna (2013); “Miracle Mile” Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2013), and “Varese Scrim 2013,” Panza Collection, Varese, Italy (2013).
Irwin has received the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1976), The MacArthur Fellowship (1984), and The Thomas Jefferson Medal for Architecture (2009). He also has been awarded a number of honorary professorships and doctorates. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Irwin is currently working on projects for the DIA Art Foundation, Beacon, NY, The Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas, and the final stage of the primordial palm garden for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Quint Contemporary Art, in collaboration with photographer Philipp Scholz Rittermann, will be publishing a catalogue to highlight projects and exhibitions of Robert Irwin’s that span from 2012 – 2013.
[i] Donna De Salvo Robert Irwin Whitney Museum of Art Exhibition Catalogue (Whitney Museum of Art, New York, 2013). pg. 2. Interior quote: Lawrence Weschler, Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin (Berkeley and Los Angeles University of California Press, 1982), pg.183.