Elvira González

Robert Irwin

08 Nov 2011 - 05 Jan 2012

© Robert Irwin
Sunshine Noir, 2011
Way Out West
8 November, 2011 - 5 January, 2012

On Tuesday 8 November Galería Elvira González presents Way Out West, the gallery’s first exhibition of the artist Robert Irwin.

Robert Irwin (Long Beach, California, 1928) is one of the pivotal US artists of his generation. Widely viewed as a true leader among West Coast practitioners, Irwin pioneered the use of space and light effects in his works. He has combined his art practice with lecturing and teaching having taught and worked with artists of the stature of James Turrell, Ed Ruscha and Chris Burden.

With a well-deserved international reputation for his seminal contribution to various art movements from the 1960's to the present, in this show Robert Irwin presents five sculptures of fluorescent light tubes treated in various colours. Furthermore, the artist factored in the space of the gallery when designing the exhibition, on view to the public until the beginning of January 2012.

In Way Out West, Irwin explores the beholder’s perception of space and light, playing with texture, rhythm and chromatic relationships. Rather than an invasive appropriation of the space, the light of the fluorescent tubes subtly transfigures the natural lighting of the rooms, creating an enveloping sensation for the viewer.

In 1994, Michael Govan claimed that “Irwin's work lay across the borders of a number of different roles — landscape designer, architect, aesthetic philosopher — in a manner completely consistent with his practice as an artist, in which, among other things, he has questioned exactly where the boundaries lie around the role of the artist today.”

This is Robert Irwin’s second exhibition in Madrid, following his debut in Spain with the 1995 retrospective at the Museo Reina Sofía. Irwin’s work has been featured in over 60 solo exhibitions since the early stages of his career, and is included in major international collections such as Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Robert Irwin has created countless installations and interventions in the landscape, like those in Villa Varese (Panza di Biumo Collection), 1976; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla California, 1995; Dia: Beacon Center for the Arts, 1999; PaceWildenstein Gallery, Chelsea, New York, 2000; the Chinati Foundation, Texas, 2002; and the palm garden at the Los Angeles County Museum, California 2007; as well as the gardens of the J. Paul Getty Museum, also in Los Angeles.

Tags: Chris Burden, IRWIN, Robert Irwin, Ed Ruscha, James Turrell