Robert Irwin as an artist, theoretician, and teacher, has over the last 50 years, played a pivotal role in the development of the unique tenants of Modern Art. Through his own personal Husserlian reduction, his work became the precursor for art outside the frame and object. This includes installation art, light and space art, art in public spaces, site specific art, and what he now terms, conditional art which draws the focus to the relationship and role of the sentient being vis-à-vis the cognitive self.
Over the last 50 years Irwin has produced some 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, 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); and “Primaries and Secondaries” Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2007-2008).
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.