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b. 1928, USA

Robert Irwin Biography

For more than six decades, Robert Irwin (b. 1928, Long Beach, California) has explored 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. 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). Robert Irwin became the first artist to receive the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur “Genius” Award in 1984.

Robert Irwin Featured Artworks

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Belmont Shore by Robert Irwin contemporary artwork
Robert IrwinBelmont Shore, 2018Shadow + reflection + colour
241.9 x 182.9 x 12.1 cm
Pace Gallery
Eight Skate & Donate by Robert Irwin contemporary artwork
Robert IrwinEight Skate & Donate, 2018Shadow + Reflection + Colour
182.9 x 257.2 x 10.8 cm
Pace Gallery
Sculpture/Configuration 2T 3L by Robert Irwin contemporary artwork
Robert IrwinSculpture/Configuration 2T 3L, 2018Acrylic
302.3 x 91.4 x 81.3 cm
Pace Gallery
Harlem Nocturne by Robert Irwin contemporary artwork
Robert IrwinHarlem Nocturne, 2014–2015Light + Shadow + Reflection + Colour
234.8 x 115.6 x 11.4 cm
Pace Gallery
Legacy by Robert Irwin contemporary artwork
Robert IrwinLegacy, 2014–2015Light + Shadow + Reflection + Colour
243.8 x 115.6 x 11.4 cm
Pace Gallery
Untitled by Robert Irwin contemporary artwork
Robert IrwinUntitled, 2018Honeycomb aluminium, polyester primer, Irwin black
Sprüth Magers Enquire
Mint Condition by Robert Irwin contemporary artwork
Robert IrwinMint Condition, 2015182.9 x 242.6 x 10.8 cm Sprüth Magers Enquire
Oasis by Robert Irwin contemporary artwork
Robert IrwinOasis, 2015182.9 x 239.4 x 10.8 cm Sprüth Magers Enquire

Robert Irwin Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Bending Light at Pace Gallery, Seoul
Closed
5 June–14 August 2020 Group Exhibition Bending Light Pace GallerySeoul
Contemporary art exhibition, Robert Irwin, Unlights at Pace Gallery, 540 West 25th Street, New York
Closed
17 January–22 February 2020 Robert Irwin Unlights Pace Gallery540 West 25th Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Robert Irwin, Robert Irwin at Sprüth Magers, Berlin
Closed
29 September–10 November 2018 Robert Irwin Sprüth MagersBerlin

Robert Irwin Represented By

Pace Gallery contemporary art gallery in 540 West 25th Street, New York, USA Pace Gallery New York, London, Geneva, Palo Alto, Hong Kong, Seoul
Sprüth Magers contemporary art gallery in Berlin, Germany Sprüth Magers Berlin, London, Los Angeles

Robert Irwin In Related Press

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A walk through Robert Irwin's new 5,000-square-foot sculpture Related Press A walk through Robert Irwin's new 5,000-square-foot sculpture 20 February 2018, Los Angeles Times

Every morning when we wake up, we put the world together anew, Robert Irwin marveled in an interview with me more than a decade ago. The painter-turned-pioneering artist of light and space had been probing how perception defines reality since the 1970s, but there he was, nearing age 80, and clearly still driven hard by that wondrous process....

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At 89, Robert Irwin finds beauty in the benign (and talks about the new artwork that's not for sale — sort of) Related Press At 89, Robert Irwin finds beauty in the benign (and talks about the new artwork that's not for sale — sort of) 7 February 2018, Los Angeles Times

Inside a gleaming San Diego tract home, 89-year-old artist Robert Irwin reclines in his favorite leather lounge chair, snug in his favorite worn baseball cap, sipping a fizzy Coke over ice. Irwin has lived here about 15 years 'because my wife wanted kids on the block for our daughter,' he says of his now 23-year-old. Still, the cozy setting...

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An Art Show Celebrates a Once-Maligned Material: Plastic Related Press An Art Show Celebrates a Once-Maligned Material: Plastic 16 February 2017, The New York Times

When DeWain Valentine was deciding what to title his newly organized Plastic Show, he paid homage to an exhibition he helped put together some 45 years back. 'I named that The Last Plastics Show,' recalls the artist of the earlier CalArts exhibition. 'There'd been so many shows regarding plastic and art that I thought it was the last one that I...

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'Blackness in Abstraction' Related Press 'Blackness in Abstraction' 2 August 2016, Frieze

The thesis underlying Blackness in Abstraction  – arguably the marquee gallery show of the season – was first articulated in 2015 by curator Adrienne Edwards, in an eponymous essay for Art in America. In it, she argued that: ‘Blackness, in the fullest sense of the word, has a seemingly unlimited usefulness in the history of...

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