Published by Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2008)
A pivotal influence in contemporary art, Robert Irwin’s work investigates perception and phenomenological experience through sculptural and installation works. In the late 1960s, Irwin’s early pieces helped to define the aesthetics of the West Coast Light and Space movement. In 1970, Irwin abandoned his studio-based art and stripped away all of his conceptions about art-making, until only those two criteria truly did remain: light and space. By the 1980s, he had evolved guidelines for how a site-based art could proceed, and, in a seminal 1986 statement, he laid out approaches for “site dominant,” “site adjusted,” “site specific” or “site conditioned” art–terms that are still essential today. Robert Irwin: Primaries and Secondaries encompasses five decades of the artist’s work. Produced to accompany the largest exhibition of Irwin’s work since 1993, it includes five of his most recent installation works, four of which were created specifically for MCASD–and features a DVD documentary of the exhibition installation, plus five essays from the artist’s distinguished theoretical output.