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Robert Irwin’s Project in Marfa Unveiled

8 months ago

At the end of June, Robert Irwin put the finishing touches to his project at the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, the art complex founded by the artist Donald Judd on a former army base in western Texas. The first new permanent single-artist installation at the site in 16 years, Irwin’s project is due to be publicly unveiled on 23 July.

Irwin’s new work is on the site of a former hospital building that had fallen into disrepair. Like his Scrim Veil (1977, 2013) at the Whitney Museum in New York, the work plays with light and space. One half of the building is shadowed in darkness and the other is bright, with a transparent scrim separating the structure, and films on the window that manipulate the natural light.

Robert Irwin is considered to be the most influential figure among a generation of artists based in California who investigated light and space, using the experience of these ephemeral elements as the expressive foundation of their art. Irwin began as an abstract painter before becoming deeply engaged in pushing the boundaries of art as the experience of perception itself. He creates work he calls “conditional”: installations that deal directly with light and space, organized to enhance our awareness of spatial and environmental situations.

Irwin was first captivated by Marfa, Texas while driving across the U.S. in 1971. In 1999, the Chinati Foundation extended an invitation for him to create a major work for the museum.

My Art Guides Editorial Team

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