Over six decades, Robert Irwin has been producing art that examines our experience of seeing and moving through the world, heightening viewers’ awareness of their senses and surroundings.

Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Any Day Now, 2020
Shadow + Reflection + Color
213.4 × 247 × 10.8 cm
84 × 97 1/4 × 4 1/4 inches

More views
Details
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Any Day Now, 2020
Shadow + Reflection + Color
213.4 × 247 × 10.8 cm
84 × 97 1/4 × 4 1/4 inches

Robert Irwin
Any Day Now, 2020
Shadow + Reflection + Color
213.4 × 247 × 10.8 cm
84 × 97 1/4 × 4 1/4 inches

Robert Irwin – Berlin
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Any Day Now, 2020 (detail)

Robert Irwin
Any Day Now, 2020 (detail)

Robert Irwin – Berlin
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Any Day Now, 2020 (scale image)

Robert Irwin
Any Day Now, 2020 (scale image)

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Robert Irwin’s second solo show at the Berlin gallery features two bodies of work: several new Unlights (Irwin's fluorescent wall works, which emit no light) and a group of acrylic sculptural configurations. The artist began working with fluorescent bulbs for the first time in the early 1990s, incorporating them into his renowned scrim installations; in the last decade, his use of fluorescent lights has evolved into standalone works.

Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Stratus, 2020
Shadow + Reflection + Color
182.9 × 247 × 10.8 cm
72 × 97 1/4 × 4 1/4 inches

More views
Details
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Stratus, 2020
Shadow + Reflection + Color
182.9 × 247 × 10.8 cm
72 × 97 1/4 × 4 1/4 inches

Robert Irwin
Stratus, 2020
Shadow + Reflection + Color
182.9 × 247 × 10.8 cm
72 × 97 1/4 × 4 1/4 inches

Robert Irwin – Berlin
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Stratus, 2020
Shadow + Reflection + Color
182.9 × 247 × 10.8 cm
72 × 97 1/4 × 4 1/4 inches

Robert Irwin
Stratus, 2020
Shadow + Reflection + Color
182.9 × 247 × 10.8 cm
72 × 97 1/4 × 4 1/4 inches

Robert Irwin – Berlin
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Stratus, 2020 (detail)

Robert Irwin
Stratus, 2020 (detail)

Robert Irwin – Berlin
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Stratus, 2020 (detail)

Robert Irwin
Stratus, 2020 (detail)

Details
icon_fullscreen
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Robert Irwin’s second solo show at the Berlin gallery features two bodies of work: several new Unlights (Irwin's fluorescent wall works, which emit no light) and a group of acrylic sculptural configurations. The artist began working with fluorescent bulbs for the first time in the early 1990s, incorporating them into his renowned scrim installations; in the last decade, his use of fluorescent lights has evolved into standalone works.

Irwin defines his work as “conditional art”—attuned to the particular spaces in which they are seen at a particular moment.

Robert Irwin – Berlin

 

Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Any Day Now, 2020 (detail)

 

 

Atop these commercially available objects, Irwin wraps a layer, or layers, of colored and metallic gels, similar to those employed in theaters to give stage lights their different tonalities; like a painter, he “blends” these hues through juxtaposition, anticipating the brilliant visual effects that ensue and how our eyes perceive them. He also adds touches of black and white in the form of strips of tape running vertically along the bulbs, as well as on the sides of the light fixtures. These interventions create a feeling of depth and recession that defy the relatively flat, bas-relief nature of the objects.

Details
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Any Day Now, 2020 (detail)

 

 

Atop these commercially available objects, Irwin wraps a layer, or layers, of colored and metallic gels, similar to those employed in theaters to give stage lights their different tonalities; like a painter, he “blends” these hues through juxtaposition, anticipating the brilliant visual effects that ensue and how our eyes perceive them. He also adds touches of black and white in the form of strips of tape running vertically along the bulbs, as well as on the sides of the light fixtures. These interventions create a feeling of depth and recession that defy the relatively flat, bas-relief nature of the objects.

Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Capital, 2020
Shadow + Reflection + Color
182.9 × 273.7 × 10.8 cm
72 × 107 3/4 × 4 1/4 inches

More views
Details
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Capital, 2020
Shadow + Reflection + Color
182.9 × 273.7 × 10.8 cm
72 × 107 3/4 × 4 1/4 inches

Robert Irwin
Capital, 2020
Shadow + Reflection + Color
182.9 × 273.7 × 10.8 cm
72 × 107 3/4 × 4 1/4 inches

Robert Irwin – Berlin
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Capital, 2020 (detail)

Robert Irwin
Capital, 2020 (detail)

Robert Irwin – Berlin
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Capital, 2020 (scale image)

Robert Irwin
Capital, 2020 (scale image)

Details
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While some of Irwin’s fluorescent works are electrically powered, his Unlights are not. Yet because of the complexity of his tonal manipulations, they often appear to be: as one encounters the works, moving in front of and around them, there is a flickering, pulsing sensation that occurs as one color transitions to the next. This experience is also predicated on the light and atmospheric conditions in which the works are installed, to which Irwin draws our attention, asking us to take notice.

Robert Irwin
Capital, 2020 (detail)

Details

Robert Irwin
Capital, 2020 (detail)

 

 

While some of Irwin’s fluorescent works are electrically powered, his Unlights are not. Yet because of the complexity of his tonal manipulations, they often appear to be: as one encounters the works, moving in front of and around them, there is a flickering, pulsing sensation that occurs as one color transitions to the next. This experience is also predicated on the light and atmospheric conditions in which the works are installed, to which Irwin draws our attention, asking us to take notice.

Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Multiple Configurations #1, 2018
Acrylic
302.3 × 256.5 × 81.3 cm
119 × 101 × 32 inches

 

 

Three of Irwin’s acrylic sculptural configurations from 2018 also illustrate the artist’s urge to create phenomenological experiences through subtle changes in light, color and surface. Irwin first worked with this material and form in the late 1960s and early 1970s, producing tall, transparent columns that disappeared and reappeared before viewers’ eyes as they changed position. Reminiscent of obelisks and monuments, Irwin’s columns and configurations are dedicated not to any event or cause, but rather to the perceptions of light as it travels across the room and interacts with the viewers’ senses.

Details
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Multiple Configurations #1, 2018
Acrylic
302.3 × 256.5 × 81.3 cm
119 × 101 × 32 inches

Robert Irwin
Multiple Configurations #1, 2018
Acrylic
302.3 × 256.5 × 81.3 cm
119 × 101 × 32 inches

Details
icon_fullscreen
1 of 1

 

 

Three of Irwin’s acrylic sculptural configurations from 2018 also illustrate the artist’s urge to create phenomenological experiences through subtle changes in light, color and surface. Irwin first worked with this material and form in the late 1960s and early 1970s, producing tall, transparent columns that disappeared and reappeared before viewers’ eyes as they changed position. Reminiscent of obelisks and monuments, Irwin’s columns and configurations are dedicated not to any event or cause, but rather to the perceptions of light as it travels across the room and interacts with the viewers’ senses.

 

 

These recent configurations are made from colored acrylic, in shades that transition from smoky gray to glassy pale blue-green. Glimpses of the gallery space come and go within the walls and edges of the acrylic panels, which sometimes appear transparent, while elsewhere they look opaque. As art historian Matthew Simms wrote in 2018: “The configurations, when viewed by an ambulatory visitor, give rise to sensations of parallax, as they appear to rotate in space as the viewer moves around them.” Just as they did at the beginning of his career, Irwin’s objects continue to surprise and move us, even to throw us off balance, with seemingly simple interventions, reminding us to stop and experience the physical world and its many phenomena.

Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Sculpture/Configuration 2T 3L, 2018
Acrylic
302.3 × 91.4 × 81.3 cm
119 × 36 × 32 inches

Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Sculpture/Configuration 2T 4L *4 Notches, 2018
Acrylic
302.3 × 91.4 × 81.3 cm
119 × 36 × 32 inches

Details
Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Sculpture/Configuration 2T 3L, 2018
Acrylic
302.3 × 91.4 × 81.3 cm
119 × 36 × 32 inches

Robert Irwin
Sculpture/Configuration 2T 3L, 2018
Acrylic
302.3 × 91.4 × 81.3 cm
119 × 36 × 32 inches

Robert Irwin – Berlin

Robert Irwin
Sculpture/Configuration 2T 4L *4 Notches, 2018
Acrylic
302.3 × 91.4 × 81.3 cm
119 × 36 × 32 inches

Robert Irwin
Sculpture/Configuration 2T 4L *4 Notches, 2018
Acrylic
302.3 × 91.4 × 81.3 cm
119 × 36 × 32 inches

Details
icon_fullscreen
1 of 2

 

 

These recent configurations are made from colored acrylic, in shades that transition from smoky gray to glassy pale blue-green. Glimpses of the gallery space come and go within the walls and edges of the acrylic panels, which sometimes appear transparent, while elsewhere they look opaque. As art historian Matthew Simms wrote in 2018: “The configurations, when viewed by an ambulatory visitor, give rise to sensations of parallax, as they appear to rotate in space as the viewer moves around them.” Just as they did at the beginning of his career, Irwin’s objects continue to surprise and move us, even to throw us off balance, with seemingly simple interventions, reminding us to stop and experience the physical world and its many phenomena.