Robert Irwin. Light and Space
Light and Space is LAS’ newly commissioned and site-conditioned exhibition by renowned American artist Robert Irwin. For over five decades, Irwin’s oeuvre has been driven by his continuous inquiry into human perception and use of space. A pioneer of Light and Space, a loosely affiliated art movement related to minimalism and geometric abstraction that originated in Southern California in the 1960s, Irwin is one of the most prolific artists to have emerged from that scene.
Robert Irwin practice moved from early Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s to observation-based Minimalist painting, sculpture and wall-objects in the 1960s, before finally leaving the studio and object-centric practice altogether in 1970 for a strictly site-conditioned approach in which he conceived his art as closely shaped by the conditions of the surrounding space. The core tenets of his practice then came to the fore, favouring experiential relationships with built environments including museums and galleries, parks, gardens and other urban settings; Irwin began to work more extensively with fluorescent light.
The exhibition is a testament to Irwin’s ability to transform a space: he intervenes in Kraftwerk’s notable brutalist architecture to create an experience that invites viewers to immerse themselves in his experiments with light and space, challenging our perceptions and how perception can extend beyond a work of art, or, as the artist puts it: “How art structures the way we see the world”.