It was awesome to go to the opening of Robert Irwin’s exhibit last night at the Hirshhorn, and hear him speak. At 87, with 60 years of creating art, his work appears to have reached a super-minimal but very rich place. As he says, “all the rules will change,” as he has shown during the evolution of his work.
The highlight of the exhibit was the “perception room.” You initially think that it is just an empty room, and then your perceptions change and you understand its very subtle and compelling beauty.
In photographs, it just looks like an empty room:
Here’s the entrance to the room:
The exhibit also has a retrospective of his work, with a few key pieces from each of his earlier periods. I especially liked the minimal white architectural pieces, which seem like building blocks of his later work.
He started out as a painter, but as he describes it, he then went beyond the frame. Some of his most famous work includes garden designs like at the Getty. He really shows that the definition of art is not rigid, but involves a deep understanding of our perceptual interactions with the world.