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Untitled, 1962-63

Robert Irwin

American, 1928-
Oil on canvas
83-1/8 x 83-1/4 in. (211.1 x 211.5 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist
© 2014 Robert Irwin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Not on view

When he began painting in the 1950s, Robert Irwin created art works that were large and gestural in the vein of his contemporaries associated with Abstract Expressionism. Yearning for something new, however, Irwin began to concentrate more on the perceptual aspects of the artwork itself, creating paintings, such as Untitled, that were less concerned with the physical properties of shape, line and color than his earlier work. In this canvas the artist places two lines at a distance so that the eye is unable to read them simultaneously. Irwin explained: “Your eye tends to become caught up in a sort of negative space…and you don’t really look at the lines at all.” His movement away from the material nature of the object to its perceptual effects led him to play a major role in the Southern California-based Light and Space movement of the 1970s.

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