Sunday, September 2, 2007

Robert Irwin

My review of Robert Irwin’s PaceWildenstein show is in the September issue of Art in America with a photo that will tell you very little about what it was like to experience that installation. Irwin used to refuse to have his work photographed, and with this piece especially, it’s easy to understand why. A photograph can only reproduce what’s concretely there, and what was so palpable about this piece was what was not concrete—the sense of energy that resonated in the space between the panels on the floor and ceiling. In a conversation with Irwin at the time I was writing the review he described his intuitive process: “You don’t plan it,” he said, “you court it.”

Robert Irwin
Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue
PaceWildenstein, 545 West 22nd Street, New York City
December 9, 2006 through January 27, 2007
Photo by: Genevieve Hanson / Courtesy PaceWildenstein, New York

1 comment:

Terry Perk said...

There's a great conversation between Irwin and Eliasson in the latter's catalogue for his current retrospective at SF MOMA. What I find particularly interesting is both artists' insistence on the relationship between the phenomenal experience of a charged spaced, as you describe in this work by Irwin, and the ideology of such an experience in terms of history, the museum and ultimately the role of time as a condition for the possibility of change.