Robert Irwin

26 Apr - 13 Jul 2012

Exhibition view
Dotting the i's & Crossing the t’s: Part I
26 April - 13 July 2012

The Pace Gallery is honored to present an exhibition of new work by Robert Irwin, on view at 32 East 57th Street from April 26 through June 23, 2012. An opening reception will be held at the gallery on Wednesday, April 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. This will be the first of a two-part exhibition exploring the seminal themes that have defined Irwin’s career: condition, experience, perception, and light. Part II of the exhibition will be presented in September at The Pace Gallery’s 510 West 25th Street location.

For more than six decades, Irwin’s innovative enterprises have led him to explore perception as the fundamental issue of art. Irwin, who began his career as a painter in the 1950s and became the pioneer of the L.A.-based “Light and Space” movement in the 1960s, has, through a continual breaking down of the frame, come to regard the role of art as “conditional,” or something that works in and responds to the specific surrounding world of experience.

The exhibition will feature a new site-conditioned installation that incorporates the gallery windows overlooking 57th Street, altering the viewers’ orientation. Knowing and seeing are challenged in this work. In addition, the show will feature Black Raku, 2012, a recent light sculpture.

Irwin has conceived fifty-five site-conditional projects since 1975, ranging from the architectural and grounds design of Dia: Beacon Center for the Arts (completed in 2003) to the lush Central Gardens for the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California (completed in 2005). His work has been featured in more than sixty solo exhibitions, including the recent Primaries and Secondaries at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2007–2008), in which he cut rectangles of glass out of the museum’s windows with his installation, 1 ̊ 2 ̊ 3 ̊ 4 ̊, 1997, making the panoramic ocean view into a perplexing perceptual transformation. In Excursus: Homage to the Square3, 1998–2000 at Dia: Chelsea, New York City, Irwin transformed his initial installation, a series of chambers constructed of fine mesh scrims lit primarily by multi-colored fluorescent lights (Prologue: x 183, 1998), into an environment of color, expanding Josef Albers’ one-dimensional experiments into a three-dimensional experience. Irwin is currently working on an environmental piece destined for permanent installation in the former army base hospital at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.

Robert Irwin’s work is in more than thirty public collections worldwide, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Robert Irwin (b. 1928, Long Beach, California) became the first artist to receive the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur “Genius” Award in 1984. His many accolades include the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture (2009), an appointment to the Advisory Policy Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts (1981), and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (1976), among others. Irwin was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2007. He studied at L.A.’s Art Institutes (Otis, 1948–50; Jepson, 1951; and Chouinard, 1952–1954), and holds Honorary Doctorates from the San Francisco Art Institute (1979) and Otis-Parson's Art Institute, CA (1992). Irwin has lectured in the art, architecture, philosophy, and perceptual psychology departments of more than 150 universities and art institutes in forty-eight states and has held a number of prestigious professorships and lectureships.

Robert Irwin lives and works in San Diego, California. He has been represented by The Pace Gallery since 1966.

Tags: Josef Albers, IRWIN, Robert Irwin