Robert Irwin

Beacon, New York


Robert Irwin’s “site-conditioned” installation Excursus: Homage to the Square3 is a navigable optical illusion of 18 interconnected rooms divided by floor-to-ceiling semi-transparent scrims. Originally commissioned by Dia Center for the Arts for its former space in Chelsea in 1998, the new iteration engages with the architectural and lighting specificities of its redesigned space in Beacon. Taking cues from his surroundings, Irwin manipulates the existing building to form a Gesamt­kunstwerk out of an old box factory turned museum. In reinterpreting nearly every facet of the space, he creates a liminal experience of sacred meditation. Because viewers can enter the work from varying points, it is not immediately apparent that Irwin’s role as artist has transformed into that of choreographer through a mobile style of viewership and experience. Wandering through the maze of white scrim chambers softened by the ghostly shadows of diffused fluorescent lights, viewers are immersed in a perceptual experience of disorienting light and space. …see the entire review in the print version of January/February’s Sculpture magazine.