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robertogreco : robertirwin   37

available in response | sara hendren
"I want to dig into the idea of availability in teaching—in the affective sense, not just the conceptual one. Availability is about being deeply attuned to what’s happening for a group of three, or ten, or twenty-one students, and understanding the differences between those groups so you can calibrate accordingly. It’s broadcasting enough confidence and calm up front that people will trust your intentions, but also the clarity of mind to alter your plans mid-stream and try something else—in response. Plenty of people found it difficult to trust whether Irwin could really pull off something substantive with all of his waiting around, and it takes a tremendous amount of trust for both teachers and students to act together in this way. But availability isn’t disorganization. It’s a quality of attention to the specificities of encounters, this minute, and then this one, and the next.

Steve Seidel, who gave me my first full-time job at Project Zero and first put me onto Irwin, modeled this kind of availability over and over for me. He’d taught in high school classrooms for seventeen years before going into research, and I was lucky to witness, in my early twenties, the ways he welcomed graduate students into his office and his courses, treating their concerns and questions with absolute dignity, like he had all the time in the world for them (and he didn’t!). I saw that there’s a sincere performance aspect to availability: the artificial slowing of time, the listening carefully, and the under-determined nature of exchanges with students, even if you can predict what might be on their minds. I’ve spent the last many years trying to emulate him as much as I can.

The availability thing really came alive, though, when I spent a couple of days at a time down at the School for Poetic Computation in New York. I was there twice as a visiting artist, and both times I gave a talk and then students signed up for half-hour or hour conversations. We walked, or we sat in a garden, or we looked at their work, and we talked. And most of time—these were strangers to me—I tried to get right to the essence with questions and more questions. What’s on your mind? And tell me more. And so on. You have to shore up all your reserves, to marshal all your wits about you when you do this. You have to smile and squelch the urge to fill silences, take a deep breath and pretend like you’ve known each other for some time, in the hopes that this person can get a little space to work longer on what’s in their heads and on paper, or in code, or whatever it is.

I got a little glimpse of this, too, when just a couple of weeks ago I spent time with students in the ID2 program of the Angewandte (university for applied arts) in Vienna. Students were at a halfway point in their course, which had nothing to do with disability. I came and introduced some ideas, and then they prototyped rapidly: a series of ideas-in-things, held in the provisional. There are so many reasons this kind of workshop should ultimately fail. The teacher drops in from outside; there’s no extrinsic motive for them to come along for your invitation. When it succeeds, it’s because of availability in response. With a thousand cues you have to signal: I am here now, holding space for you to do some good work."
availability  listening  sarahendren  robertirwin  teaching  learning  education  art  cv  canon  2017  audiencesofone  seveseidel  projectzero  sfpc  schoolforpoeticcomputation  id2  angewandte  conversation  unschooling  deschooling 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Robert Irwin’s Big Visions, Barely Seen - The New York Times
"Robert Irwin is not a conceptual artist. But if he were, his trademark concept over the last half-century might have been devising hugely ambitious public installations that are virtually guaranteed never to be realized.

There was the 1981 proposal for a soaring walk-in aviary in a dilapidated New Orleans park, which thoroughly confused the city elders who awarded him the design commission. (“I won the thing,” Mr. Irwin recalled, “and then I never heard from them again.”) There were the plans for projects along the Ohio River in Cincinnati, a park in Fort Worth, Battery Park in New York, a transit station at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, a viaduct in downtown Los Angeles and the Miami International Airport — which he spent years trying to redesign and which, like all the other projects, stayed on the drawing board as civic will or money evaporated. What most people who dream of enlisting an artist to help them re-envision public space really want, “deep down in their heart of hearts,” Mr. Irwin once said, is “a Henry Moore.”

But Mr. Irwin doesn’t make sculptures or, for that matter, very many of what would be considered art objects of any kind. Instead, he has spent most of a restless career, based in Los Angeles and then San Diego, creating subtle, at times vanishingly evanescent, environments with plain materials — fabric scrim, glass, lights, plants and trees — “to make you a little more aware than you were the day before,” as he puts it, “of how beautiful the world is.” And now, at 87, after decades of often lonesome proselytizing for his brand of art, he may finally be seeing the art world coming around to his way of thinking."

"But she added that Mr. Irwin’s self-effacing approach, and disdain for much of the money-driven contemporary art world, has contributed to his under-the-radar status. “The absence of presence, as they say, means you kind of disappear. I’d say the same thing about a lot of women artists. If you’re not in the shows, if you’re not in the galleries, it’s as if you don’t exist.” (Mr. Irwin has long been represented by the prestigious Pace Gallery, but his presence in the permanent collections of American museums is muted at best.)

Many people who know Mr. Irwin, who lives in San Diego with his wife, Adele, and their grown daughter, Anna Grace, say he is slowing as he nears 90. But there was little evidence on display in Marfa. Mr. Weschler wrote that if Mr. Irwin were to be played in a movie, James Garner circa “The Rockford Files” would be the best choice, and he indeed exudes that kind of comfortable-in-his-own-skin charm, but also a bit of the flinty resolve of Paladin, gentleman gunfighter. As the sun blazed down on the project site that morning, Mr. Irwin spent the better part of an hour picking the brain of a local grass specialist, who had arrived for what was expected to be a quick consultation. Chinati workers, wilting, intervened and proposed moving the conversation to the shade, or breaking for lunch. “Yeah, yeah, lunch,” Mr. Irwin said and continued to buttonhole the specialist for another 20 minutes.

In a telephone interview in late December, after he had returned once more to Marfa to see the roof starting to encapsulate his installation, he said he was feeling a little better about how things were going. “Then again, you never really know until it’s done,” he cautioned.

He added that even with all the new attention directed toward his work, he finds it hard to shake the Don Quixote feeling that has shadowed him for most of his career. “I still feel like I’ve been spitting into the wind, and I’ve got a lot of spit on my nose,” he said. “But I guess I’ll keep on trying, for the same reason that’s kept me going before, which is this: People don’t realize that ultimately in this life, aesthetics really count.”"
2016  robertirwin  art  marfa 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Los Angeles vs. New York City - The Atlantic
"For millions, New York is undeniably the best city.

And L.A. is the best city for millions, too. I'll happily share some of the comparative advantages that it offers for the sake of the would-be transplants who value such things. We've already remarked upon weather, though winters without frozen water falling from the sky by the metric ton are just the beginning. In L.A., no one yearns for a place "to summer," a subject that seems near and dear to the perennially-aspirational Style section set, because soaking humidity doesn't pervade the city in June, July, and August. Rich and poor happily "summer" at their regular house or apartment (though come autumn, transplants miss watching the leaves die).

And it isn't just the weather that's better here. So is the light. Long after Lawrence Weschler had moved to New York he found himself entranced by a shot of his former city on TV. "That's the light I keep telling you girls about!" he exclaimed to his wife and daughter. "That light: the late-afternoon light of Los Angeles–golden pink off the bay through the smog and onto the palm fronds. A light I've found myself pining for every day of the nearly two decades since I left Southern California."

Then there's what locals here call "the beach," stretching miles and miles down the western edge of our city. If you're the sort that best comprehends Los Angeles through questionable analogies to New York City you might think of this gorgeous seascape as a bigger, partly aquatic High Line. Of course, not everyone likes to surf or scuba dive or kayak or standup paddle or lounge on sand reading US Weekly. But we've also got mountains, canyons, and deserts. Hiking in nature here is more convenient by about the same factor as traveling by subway is less convenient.

Angelenos care very little where you went to college and not at all where you went to prep school. In fact, if an East Coaster tries to name-drop a prep school Angelenos will assume that they're talking about an obscure college; the notion of anyone name-dropping a high school is beyond our Southern California comprehension.

Octogenarian movie stars are our idea of "old money."

As for the food, if your favorite standby is pizza, Puerto Rican, or Italian, stay put. But if you cook at home, or salivate over Mexican, Thai, Korean, sushi, ramen, burgers, or anything that's better with avocado, come hither. You'll eat better than in NYC for far less.

For the flip-flop wearer, Los Angeles is a city where practically no restaurant or bar will turn you away, an approach that strikes most of us as a feature.

Then there's our perspective on the good life.

"When I describe my West Coast existence (sunshine! avocados! etc.) to some New Yorkers," Ann Friedman once wrote in New York, "they acknowledge that they really like California, too, but could never move there because they’d get too 'soft.' At first this confused me, but after hearing it a few times, I’ve come to believe that a lot of people equate comfort with complacency, calmness with laziness. If you’re happy, you’re not working hard enough. You’ve stopped striving."

Los Angeles is a place where one can strive while happy. One doesn't trade away ambition so much as a unit or two of invigoration: On that metric, the pace isn't frenetic enough to match New York; much seems less urgent in L.A., for better and worse. In Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, a biography of the artist Robert Irwin, the subject's youth in World War II-era Los Angeles is covered. One passage captures a particular relationship that many in this city have to events outside it. Irwin is showing his interviewer spots where he cruised around L.A. as a teen:


In my experience there are two kinds of people who thrive in Los Angeles. The first tend to have the same disposition as did Bob Irwin: "Look. Look at it here. Look at how it is: calm, sunny, the palm trees. What is there to get all fucking upset about?" Then there are the people (as likely to be New Yorkers as anyone) who aren't themselves chill in that way but are happiest in proximity to people who are. If you're neither type Los Angeles isn't for you. If you come anyway, please bring bagels."

[See also this response to the NYTimes LA article:
“Leaving New York and Also Technology: Why I left New York and also technology” ]
losangeles  nyc  socal  colinfriedersdorf  california  lawrenceweschler  robertirwin  qualityoflife  annfriedman  2015 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Moby: Los Angeles, The First City of the Apocalypse | Creative Time Reports
"Once he realized New York had become an unaffordable city that people "visit, observe, patronize and document, but don’t actually add to," Moby moved to Los Angeles, drawn by its ethos of experimentation and comfort with failure."

"I don’t want to create a New York-L.A. dichotomy, because both cities are progressive and wonderful, and there are clearly many other great American cities. Artists aren’t just leaving New York for L.A.—they’re also going to Portland, Minneapolis, Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia and countless other places. And, as an aside, I don’t know why they aren’t moving to Newark. It’s 15 minutes away from Manhattan and remarkably cheap. I think it’s the unwarranted New Jersey stigma that unfortunately keeps people from crossing the Hudson. People would rather move to the worst part of Brooklyn and still have the magical “NY” in their address. That single consonant on their mail—”Y” as opposed to “J”— seems to keep people from making that 15-minute trek to Newark.

Plenty of other cities in the United States and abroad are, of course, interesting and beautiful, but I moved to L.A. due to its singular pre-apocalyptic strangeness. It seems equally baffled and baffling, with urban and suburban and wilderness existing in fantastic chaos just inches away from one another. There’s no center to L.A, and in many ways it’s kind of a fantastically confused petri dish of an anti-city. If you’re in New York, Brussels, London or Milan, you’re surrounded by a world that has been subdued and overseen by humans for centuries, sometimes for millennia. They’re stable cities; and when you’re in an older city you feel a sense of safety, as if you’re in a city that’s been, and being, well looked after. You feel like most well-established and conventional cities know what they’re doing. L.A., on the other hand, is constantly changing and always seemingly an inch away from some sort of benign collapse.

If you look at some of L.A.’s patron saint artists, like Robert Irwin and James Turrell, their work is about the vast, unknowable and at times uncaring strangeness of the world we live in—not the human world, but the natural world. And it makes sense: nature, with all its empty, otherworldly expanses, is the constant, hulking neighbor to Los Angeles. The moment you leave L.A., you’re in a desert that would most likely kill you if you left your water bottle at home. For southern California, humanity is the weird exception, not the rule."
moby  losangeles  apocalypse  change  2014  nyc  jamesturrell  robertirwin  nature 
february 2014 by robertogreco
To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees | Grand Strategy: The View from Oregon
"“To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” This is a quote frequently attributed to Paul Valéry, and the line has a quality that is at once both searching and poetic, making the attribution reasonable. I don’t know if Valéry actually said it (I can’t find the source of the quote), but I think of this line every once in a while: my mind returns to it as to an object of fascination. A good aphorism is perennially pregnant with meaning, and always repays further meditation.

If seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees, and mutatis mutandis for the aesthetic experiences that follow from the other senses — e.g., to taste is to forget the name of thing one tastes, and so forth — we may take the idea further and insist that it is the forgetting of not only the name but of all the linguistic (i.e., formal) accretions, all categorizations, and all predications, that enables us to experience the thing in itself (to employ a Kantian locution). What we are describing is the pursuit of prepredicative experience after the fact (to employ a Husserlian locution).

This is nothing other than the familiar theme of seeking a pure aesthetic experience unmediated by the intellect, undistracted by conceptualization, unmarred by thought — seeing without thinking the seen. In view of this, can we take the further step, beyond the generalization of naming, extending the conceit to all linguistic formalizations, so that we arrive at a pure aesthesis of thought? Can we say that to think is to forget the name of the thing one thinks?

The pure aesthesis of thought, to feel a thought as one feels an experience of the senses, would be thought unmediated by the conventions of naming, categories, predication, and all the familiar machinery of the intellect, i.e., thought unmediated by the accretions of consciousness. It would be thought without all that we usually think of as being thought. Is such thought even possible? Is this, perhaps, unconscious thought? Is Freud the proper model for a pure aesthesis of thought? Possible or not, conscious or not, Freudian or not, the pursuit of such thought would constitute an effort of thought that must enlarge our intellectual imagination, and the enlargement of our imagination is ultimately the enlargement of our world.

Wittgenstein famously wrote that the limits of my language are the limits of my world (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 5.6 — this is another wonderful aphorism that always repays further meditation). But the limits of language can be extended; we can systematically seek to transcend the limits of our language and thus the limits of our world, or we can augment our language and thus augment our world. Russell, Wittgenstein’s mentor and one-time collaborator, rather than focusing on limits of the self, developed an ethic of impersonal self-enlargement, i.e., the transgression of limits. In the last chapter of his The Problems of Philosophy Russell wrote:
All acquisition of knowledge is an enlargement of the Self, but this enlargement is best attained when it is not directly sought. It is obtained when the desire for knowledge is alone operative, by a study which does not wish in advance that its objects should have this or that character, but adapts the Self to the characters which it finds in its objects. This enlargement of Self is not obtained when, taking the Self as it is, we try to show that the world is so similar to this Self that knowledge of it is possible without any admission of what seems alien. The desire to prove this is a form of self-assertion and, like all self-assertion, it is an obstacle to the growth of Self which it desires, and of which the Self knows that it is capable. Self-assertion, in philosophic speculation as elsewhere, views the world as a means to its own ends; thus it makes the world of less account than Self, and the Self sets bounds to the greatness of its goods. In contemplation, on the contrary, we start from the not-Self, and through its greatness the boundaries of Self are enlarged; through the infinity of the universe the mind which contemplates it achieves some share in infinity.

The obvious extension of this conception of impersonal self-enlargement to an ethics of thought enjoins the self-enlargement of the intellect, the transgression of the limits of the intellect. It is the exercise of imagination that enlarges the intellect, and a great many human failures that we put to failures of understanding and cognition are in fact failures of imagination.

The moral obligation of self-enlargement is a duty of intellectual self-transgression. As Nietzsche put it: “A very popular error: having the courage of one’s convictions; rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack on one’s convictions!”"

[Came here today because + +
thus the tagging with Robert Irwin, Lawrence Weschler, and Clarice Lispector]
paulvaléry  wittgenstein  thought  language  aphorism  mind  memory  senses  familiarization  robertirwin  lawrenceweschler  naming  categorization  predication  freud  bertrandrussell  self  philosophy  claricelispector  knowledge  knowledgeacquisition  self-enlargement  nietzsche  brasil  brazil  literature 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Introduction to the book Learning Mind: Experience into Art [.pdf]
"This first section concludes with a discussion…In this exchange, led by educator Lisa Wainwright, artist Kerry James Marshall and designer Bruce Mau engage in a lively, probing debate about what artists and designers have in common, how they are different, and what each contributes to society. Wainwright’s questioning leads Marshall and Mau to reveal how they came to art and what role education played. While academic institutions question what artists, architects, and designers need to know, Mau suggests that art education may be the ideal mode of education for everyone. “I think there is an underlying power and positive effect of invention and creation,” Mau asserts. “We underestimate how important art is. If you could put everyone in society through art school, think about how different it would be to have a general population that… embraces the capacity of art to affect the way we see the world."

[Book link: ]
reading  buddhism  everydaylife  everyday  documenta  cv  howweteach  howwelearn  experience  robertirwin  christopherbedford  michaelbrenson  marcelduchamp  utemetabauer  davidgetsy  lisawainwright  artandthemind  practice  theory  mikahannula  jacquesrancière  paulofreire  thinking  teaching  pedagogy  design  kerryjamesmarshall  brucemau  johndewey  deschooling  unschooling  edg  glvo  openstudioproject  lcproject  2010  jacquelynnbaas  maryjanejacob  books  learning  arteducation  education  art  rancière 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Frieze Magazine | Archive | Border Control
"…Once they have identified what we should be looking at & talking about, my eye is inevitably drawn to the ‘not art’ side of the room, which often seems more alive to me, more fun. Is it possible to make things, do things, before they are categorized? Is it possible to build a life’s work as a free-range human, freely meandering and trespassing without regard for the borders?…

Children naturally operate this way, but it’s the opposite of how most formal education works. We are introduced to borders, decide which ones we want to surround ourselves with, learn what happened within them before we got there, and are then expected to perform within their narrow perimeters until we die… If I am interested in gardening, I don’t want to make work about gardens, I become a gardener…

Maybe identifying myself as one limits my freedom by implying that everything I do aspires to be art. I’m not aiming for art, I’m aiming for life, and if art gets in the way, that’s fine."

[via: ]

Another passage from earlier on:

"In her 1979 essay ‘Sculpture in the Expanded Field’ Rosalind Krauss analyzes the slippery, evolving nature of what was being referred to at the time as sculpture by artists including Carl Andre, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Robert Irwin, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra and Robert Smithson. Krauss talks about sculpture, and its relationship to ‘not architecture’ and ‘not landscape’. Recently the term ‘expanded field’ has been revived to help make sense of the work of a new generation of artists (including myself), whose legacy can ironically be traced directly back to artists from the 1970s whom Krauss does not mention in her essay. These include: Ant Farm, Buckminster Fuller, Anna Halprin, Joan Jonas, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Yayoi Kusama, Gordon Matta-Clark, Ana Mendieta, Adrian Piper and Yvonne Rainer, to name just a few personal favourites. They were working at the borders of what was known as sculpture, and some were outside what was even considered art. With our generation growing out of theirs, I would argue that the field has not expanded at all, but rather the ossified borders that previously separated it and other fields from each other are becoming more porous."
criticism  autonomy  freedom  notart  artpractice  theory  tresspassing  meandering  lcproject  deschooling  learning  generalists  multidisciplinary  interdisciplinarity  interdisciplinary  disciplines  free-rangehumans  freeranging  unschooling  living  life  making  glvo  2009  fritzhaeg  culture  unartist  community  art  borders  carlandre  walterdemaria  michaelheizer  robertirwin  sollewitt  richardlong  robertmorris  brucenauman  richardserra  robertsmithson  antfarm  buckminsterfuller  annahalprin  joanjonas  mierleladermanukeles  yayoikasuma  matta-clark  anamendieta  adrianpiper  yvonnerainer  rosalindkrauss  architecture  landscape  artists  sculpture  porosity  gordonmatta-clark 
may 2012 by robertogreco
The Mavenist: "And whereever I’ve been, once it begins to shift from why to how, I simply leave: I’m gone."
"I would think that the most immoral thing one can do is to have ambitions for someone else’s mind. That’s the crux of the challenge and the responsibility of having the opportunity to deal with young people at such a crucial time in their formation. One of the hardest things to do is not to give them clues—‘Here, do it this way, it’s a lot easier’—and instead to keep them on the edge of the question… The problem with teaching full time … is that there comes a moment when there occurs a shift from why to how. I mean, people want you to be their guru, and that’s the last thing you can do for them, that’s the worst thing. And whereever I’ve been, once it begins to shift from why to how, I simply leave: I’m gone."
robertirwin  teaching  why  how  cv  responsibility  gurus  socraticmethod  instruction  pedagogy  yearoff  morality  ambitions  control  authority  thinking  philosophy  unschooling  deschooling  via:frankchimero  influence 
march 2011 by robertogreco
INTHECONVERSATION: Notes on Social Architectures as Art Forms by Sal Randolph
"To put it differently, sculpture and architecture can both be meaningful, but they typically mean in different ways. Nicholas Bourriaud, in his more recent book Postproduction offers, "why wouldn't the meaning of a work have as much to do with the use one makes of it as with the artists intentions for it." Or, Bourriaud again, quoting Tiravanija, quoting Wittgenstein: "Don't look for the meaning, look for the use.""
wittgenstein  architecture  urban  psychogeography  design  art  socialarchitectures  salrandolph  nicholasbourriaud  josephbeuys  johncage  dadaism  alankaprow  fluxus  gutai  situationist  performance  performanceart  rirkrittiravanija  johndewey  robertirwin  perception  consciousness  niklasluhmann  structure  urbanism  communication  audience  observation 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Blog: Frank Chimero (Here)
"I’ve said before attention is the most limited resource we have. We’re spread too thin, like too little butter over too much bread. I still believe that’s true, and there are a lot of people talking about how to alleviate that situation. But, often times the discussion stops too soon: we wrongly think that we’re just here to put up fences around certain areas so we’re not spread too thin.

We forget that the opportunity isn’t just to build up walls in certain areas, but to tear them down in others to give us the opportunity to care, to teach, and to just be present for a little while. Bad writers give mediocre advice that tell you to build up walls. The best writers tell you to tear walls down in the areas that matter to you. Because being available leads to incredible things: not only to unforeseen requests like Irwin’s, but also unexpected opportunities like _why’s teaching kids programming on a train ride. Availability is a mindset."
presence  frankchimero  availability  attention  delight  wonder  robertirwin  teaching  serendipity  play  focus  grazing  writing  programming  wisdom  singletasking  monotasking 
may 2010 by robertogreco
A flowering of activity for Robert Irwin, 81 -
"The artist has a new installation in La Jolla, work from the series will be shown in New York, and he has developed a plan for an outdoor space near a federal courthouse to be built in San Diego."
robertirwin  togo 
april 2010 by robertogreco
ROBERT IRWIN – Works in Progress « Quint Contemporary Art
"Quint Contemporary Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by San Diego based artist ROBERT IRWIN. This will be Irwin’s first gallery exhibition on the West Coast since his “One Wall Removed” project at the Malinda Wyatt Gallery in Venice, CA (1980). The exhibition, Works in Progress, will change every two weeks during the run of the exhibit from March 19th through May 1st. A reception will be held on Friday, March 19th from 6 to 8 PM."
sandiego  art  robertirwin  togo  tcsnmy 
march 2010 by robertogreco
DVD Robert Irwin: The Beauty of Questions
"Filmed over a five-year period, Robert Irwin: The Beauty of Questions follows Irwin from Paris to New York to LA, and from the desert to the racetrack (where for a long time he made his living). It spans the artist’s entire aesthetic journey – from his beginnings in the forties, through his years as a painter, and then out of traditional art spaces into the world at large, where he presently stakes his ambitious projects in the most public of settings. The unifying theme in Irwin’s trajectory has been a continuous effort to catch us up in that moment when, uncannily, we perceive ourselves perceiving."
robertirwin  dvd  video  documentary  art  artists  tcsnmy 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Primaries and Secondaries (2008) « HOWEVER FALLIBLE
"A short documentary on Robert Irwin putting together his recent exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego."

[DVD from this book: ]
robertirwin  art  sandiego  sculpture  light  film  video  documentary 
march 2009 by robertogreco
The Believer - The Paralyzed Cyclops
"I should perhaps myself note, however, the way that curiously, while the two artists have been engaged in entirely different artistic enterprises—undergirded, they would argue, by entirely opposite readings of history—many of Hockney’s and Irwin’s core concerns have come to seem, to me at any rate, almost entirely identical: the emphasis, for instance, on the critique of photography, the countervailing celebration of the human quality of looking and experience, the focus on the centrality of the observer, the vitality of the periphery, the interpenetrations of art and science, the dialogue of immanence. "
lawrenceweschler  robertirwin  davidhockney  art  photography  artists  criticism  california  painting  contemporary  believer 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Light, space, perception - Los Angeles Times [on Robert Irwin]
"Lots of artists extend established traditions in their work, adding to what came before. Some artists overturn them. A few begin new ones, starting from scratch. Then there’s the rarest artist of all – the one who manages to extend, overturn and radically innovate simultaneously. These are artists who set the culture on its ear. Their art conjures previously unsuspected possibilities, energizing other artists by changing art’s terms. Robert Irwin is such an artist. Light and Space, the sensual art of perceptual discovery he pioneered in the 1960s, is now synonymous with Los Angeles’ emergence over the last half-century as a distinctive cultural powerhouse. With human perception as his inexhaustible subject, Irwin is, at 79, an eminence of postwar American art."
robertirwin  art  exhibitions 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees By Lawrence Weschler - Google Book Search
"'On its more radical fringes, modern art merges with modern philosophy, and this excellent, provocative profile...points up the extent to which the act of percepton, rather than any specific objects, has become the subject of the avant-garde California artist's work....Weschler has a knack for clarifying avstruse artistic and philosophical concepts."
robertirwin  lawrenceweschler  art  books 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Robert Irwin Artist Detail » PaceWildenstein [see also links to exhibitions and catalogs]
"Since the 1980s, Irwin's continued questioning for the "pure subject of art" has carried him to an inquiry of the actual role of art in the light of a radical "modern" art history. This exploration has resulted in "real" world "site-generated-conditional art" proposals and projects in public places such as the Old Post Office Atrium, Washington, D.C.; Stuart Collection, University of California, San Diego; a case study Arts Enrichment Master Plan; Miami International Airport; and his most recent project, the Central Gardens of the new J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles, and the architectural design and grounds for Dia Art Foundation's museum, Dia: Beacon in Beacon, New York."
robertirwin  art 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Beyond the Frame: Robert Irwin's Primaries and Secondaries at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego - PORT: Portland art + news + reviews
"It is important to realize though that Irwin is showing us that we create the perspective with our eyes and the way we see which may or not coincide with the actual physical facts of an experience. There is nothing inherent or absolute to perspective, it is just the way we have evolved to see the world. I had found that after walking around the piece, if I stopped, and looked at the upper panel and then turned my gaze to the panel on the floor, I would sink into the panel on the floor. It is like the surface would soften up and I would go through the floor. It was a strange experience."
robertirwin  art  exhibitions  sandiego 
september 2008 by robertogreco - Robert Irwin: De-objectifications for Philosophic and Actual Bodies
"Robert Irwin’s new work, "Prologue: X 183", is the first of a two-part installation on the third floor of the Dia Center for the Arts in New York City. The entire space is divided into 18 chambers by fine white mesh scrim, a material that Irwin first discovered being used as window coverings in Amsterdam in 1970. At Dia, the scrims are stapled to their supports like stretched canvases and soar to the ceiling to define the open, cubed areas. As in most works of this kind, the forms are determined by the artist, but it is the viewer who activates the paths."
robertirwin  art  architecture  space  sculpture  installation  1998  light 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Two Running Violet V Forms, 1983 , Robert Irwin, Stuart Collection, UCSD
"For his contribution to the Stuart Collection, Two Running Violet V Forms - his first permanent installation in California - Irwin was drawn to the eucalyptus groves east of the Mandeville Center and adjacent to the Faculty Club. The contradiction inherent in this man-made forest appealed to him; the geometric regularity of the grid of trees is balanced by the infinite variety of light and detail which the natural setting nevertheless provides. Irwin installed two fencelike structures in V-forms amidst the trees. The "fences" are blue-violet, plastic-coated, small gauge chain-link fencing supported by stainless steel poles which average twenty-five feet in height. The structure maintains a constant elevation as the hillside terrain drops gently beneath it. Purple flowering iceplant, echoing but not matching the color of the chain link, is planted under the fence."
robertirwin  ucsd  lajolla  sandiego  art  installation  1983 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Robert Irwin: Still at play with the powers of perception - International Herald Tribune
[also at: ]

"Almost 30 years...Lawrence inspired by their ongoing, open-ended conversation about meaning of life & art that he wrote huge chunks of it into a 25,000-word manuscript. "He was showing the piece around, but we knew there was no chance it would ever get published...showed it to writer Calvin Tomkins, who showed it to New Yorker editor William Shawn...ended up running it in two parts." The article, published shortly afterward..."Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees," also had ripple effects for Irwin...introduced his work to many who could not see it in person...Michael Govan, said the book "has convinced more young people to become artists than the Velvet Underground has created rockers." The book is a primer of sorts on how to open yourself up to aesthetic experience. It's about "trying to get people to perceive how they perceive," Weschler offered in a telephone interview."
robertirwin  lawrenceweschler  books  art  michaelgovan 
september 2008 by robertogreco
MCASD/UCSD 2008 Russell Lecture: Robert Irwin
"The 2008 Russell Lecturer was renowned and influential artist Robert Irwin. This program was presented in conjunction with the MCASD exhibition 'Robert Irwin: Primaries and Secondaries,' a survey spanning over five decades of the artist's work. The artist has lectured and participated in symposia at over 200 universities and art institutes, where he placed an emphasis on spending time with students. He has taught at a range of institutions including Chouinard, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Irvine. Irwin was the first artist to receive a MacArthur Fellowship ("genius") award in 1984.In addition to this lecture, Irwin had the chance to meet and interact with students in UCSD's Visual Arts Department, as part of the Russell Foundation program."
robertirwin  art  lectures  video  ucsd  macasd 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Robert Irwin lecture at MCASD La Jolla, CA (sponsored by UCSD)
"~2/3 of the Robert Irwin lecture held at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla on February 21, 2008 as part of UCSD's Russell Lecturer series. The first bit I omitted was just Bob telling the amusing story of his early 70s installation at the MoMA (which you can read in the Weschler book). Throughout this portion of the talk, he glances over the development of modern art and the hierarchy of art these days. While he doesn't address any issues head on, he does bring up some valid points for any student to consider. And apologies for the poor video quality--didn't know how long the lecture would last, so I went with the lowest quality on my camera. If you need anything better, try checking with UCSD's library or visual arts department."
robertirwin  art  video  leactures 
september 2008 by robertogreco Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin: Lawrence Weschler: Books
"Whether you know Irwin's work or not, are an art afficionado or not, this is a great read for the curious and perceptually
robertirwin  lawrenceweschler  books  biography  art 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Robert Irwin still marvels at Getty gardens 10 years later - Los Angeles Times
"If you start doing things in the public domain, it has to live with change. It's inevitable. It's going to happen, so it has to be strong enough to have enough character, enough backbone in a way, that you stick a piece of sculpture in it, it didn't kill the garden. [To Irwin's dismay, a 1950s Leger sculpture was placed on the garden's plaza.] It was inappropriate and invasive, but the garden is strong. . . .
robertirwin  art  getty  gettygardens  gardens 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Art in America: Robert Irwin's Doors of Perception
""At the very best," Irwin says, talking about the experience he wants his work to engender, "a few people will walk in and it will change their lives." While this statement may sound a bit grandiose, I can say with certainty that seeing that triangular piece and hearing Irwin speak about his work so early in my life as an artist had a singular impact; I cannot recall being so affected by a work of art before or since. What struck me was not his method--although I'm always impressed when art is wrested from such basic materials--but rather the realization that all the art I'd seen till then seemed based on the same artistic concepts, while here was an approach to problem-solving that began not with the known but with the unknown."
robertirwin  dia:beacon  art  biography 
september 2008 by robertogreco
VQR » Embeddedness: Robert Irwin in His Seventies
"He paused. “Now,” he resumed, “one thing that has entered in lately, which is something that I had never at all used to consider—in fact I am for the first time being made aware of it and I find it awkward, I’m not quite sure what to do about it and haven’t had time enough to sort it out in my own head—and that’s this whole issue of history. I mean, I’ve never had any interest in history, certainly not my own, and I have almost no record of anything. Suddenly people are saying, you know, So-and-So kept all this and that—for instance, you look at what Don Judd did in Marfa—whereas me, I didn’t keep anything. My whole life I was as if stripped clean so as to be able to keep going, you know what I mean? And now Hugh starts talking about this permanent wing and this archive at the museum: it can spin your head a bit.”"
robertirwin  art  life  lawrenceweschler  history  lajolla 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Robert Irwin Essay by MIchal Govan [via:]
"By Irwin's measure, a work of art succeeds when it challenges our perceptions to such a degree as to cause us to reconsider our environment and invest it, and ourselves, with greater potential. In the case of his work at Dia:Beacon, it was only after he had sensed and assessed the degree to which he had carried out his responsibilities to solve practical problems, as well as the total aesthetic effect of his myriad of individual and dispersed gestures, details, and proposals—some of which are described in his drawings in the following pages—that he was satisfied that his efforts operated within those terms and could be considered a work in his oeuvre and in Dia's collection."
robertirwin  michaelgovan  art  space  installation  Dia:Beacon 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Robert Irwin - Installation Artist [see also:]
"An interview with installation artist Robert Irwin, an environmental artist and sculptor, who launched the light and space movement. - ResearchChannel is a nonprofit media and technology organization that connects a global audience with the research and academic institutions whose developments, insights and discoveries affect our lives and futures."
robertirwin  interviews  art  space  light 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Rice University Webcasts: President's Lecture: Robert Irwin on Abstraction
"Internationally renowned artist Robert Irwin, an environmental artist and sculptor who launched the light and space movement, speaks on abstraction, perception and reality. His lecture was the Dominique de Menil Lecture of the 1999-2000 President's Lecture Series."
robertirwin  architecture  space  abstraction  art  riceuniversity 
september 2008 by robertogreco
LACMA Collections Online - Art and Technology
"In 1967, the two-year-old Los Angeles County Museum of Art began pairing contemporary artists with high-technology corporations in hopes that new artforms might arise. Ambitious and controversial at the time, this project remains a milestone in LA art history of lasting influence."

[pdf here: ]
lacma  via:russelldavies  art  technology  history  1967  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  losangeles  robertirwin  jamesturrell  donaldjudd  andywarhol  robertrauschenberg  richardserra  robertsmithson  jefraskin  claesoldenburg  brucenauman  roylichtenstein  ellsworthkelly  christo  johnbaldessari  anthonycaro  jeandubuffet  danflavin 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Robert Irwin - San Diego - Art - New York Times [also at:]
"How did California’s most radical light-and-space artist, who once exhibited an empty gallery in Venice as a work of art, come to design those much-loved Getty Gardens? And what is he doing now with palm trees?"
robertirwin  art  design  landscape 
october 2007 by robertogreco

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