Rachel Rose on Robert Irwin


As part of the Annual Guide to Galleries, Museums and Artists (A.i.A.‘s August issue), we preview the 2016-17 season of museum exhibitions worldwide. In addition to offering their own top picks, our editors asked select artists, curators and collectors to identify the shows they are looking forward to. Here, Rachel Rose talks about Robert Irwin.

“Robert Irwin’s installation Excursus: Homage to the Square³—with its angles of light, blurred shadows, and spectral fluorescents—puts into focus physical realities of everyday life. Irwin’s use of theater scrims reminds me of film editing. The scrims are like cuts, dividing up the gallery and recomposing its parts. I see myself standing on one side of the material and feeling in an entirely different place than on the other—even while the scrim is basically the same everywhere.

“If I were making a film of a room, I could take a close-up shot of a window and cut it with an aerial shot of the room’s perimeter and cut that with a handheld-camera shot of the floor. Irwin’s installation is like this type of film sequence, revealing the same space through different perspectives.”

Robert Irwin, Excursus: Homage to the Square³, Dia:Beacon, N.Y., through May 2017.


Rachel Rose is an artist based in New York.